Accommodation in Cebu

houses in Cebu
Updated 2023-07-04 11:44

Located in the Visayas region, 750 km from Manila and West of the Negros Island, Cebu is one of the major Philippine provinces. In shape, it is a rather long and narrow island and includes Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes islands, which are very popular with tourists. Cebu City, the capital city, has forged itself to be the alternative to the fast-paced urban lifestyle in Manila.

Good to know:

The real estate industry is the fastest-growing sector in Cebu, so there are always new properties in the market. Therefore it will not be difficult to find your ideal home.

About Cebu

Cebu City is found within the Cebu metropolitan area, which includes six neighboring cities, namely Carcar City, Danao City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Bogo, and Talisay, as well as six other municipalities. The area hosts the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located on Mactan Island, and is around a 30-minute drive from Cebu City.  Cebu City's 2023 population is now estimated at 1,024,945.

Cebu is deemed to be one of the country's most developed provinces, being an important dynamic commercial, industrial, educational and exchange hub. It also hosts many places of attractions and facilities such as five-star hotels, casinos, white sand beaches, world-class golf courses, convention centers, shopping malls, etc.

As with many capital cities around the world, there are safety concerns in the city, so you always have to be vigilant, especially in downtown areas like Colon, Carbon, Sikatuna, Ermita, A.Lopez Street and B.Rodriguez Street.

More secure places tend to be the ones that are more developed, such as Sugbo Mercado, Park Mall, Mango Avenue, Ayala Business Park, and IT Park, among others.

Good to know:

Crime was part and parcel of city life in the Philippines in the past. However, since the strict laws enacted by the previous president, there has been an exponential reduction in crime figures post-President Rodrigo Duterte's term. Cebu is no exception and is ranked in 8th place in the Southeast of the Philippines with a safety index of 55.72. The crime rate is lower than other cities in the country, and Cebu ranks as the 5th safest city in the Philippines. Cebu is certainly on the ‘recommended' list of cities to live in for expats.

Rent prices in Cebu

In general, you will need between php55,000/ USD 1,000 and php66,000/ USD 1,200 per month for a three-bedroom fully furnished apartment in the best areas in Cebu City. Note that the owner may request you to pay 6 months or a year's rent in advance along with a deposit, which is equal to 2 or 3 months' rent. Regarding recovering the deposit at the end of your stay, you will have to be very patient and diplomatic towards the owner.

Finding accommodation in Cebu

You can start your accommodation search in Cebu, as in anywhere else in the Philippines, by browsing offers on the internet. has an extensive list of condominiums and apartments for sale and for rent in Cebu, as well as rooms for rent. also claims to be the Philippines' no. 1 real estate partner, where a search of properties for rent will give you thousands of results.

If you prefer the comforts of a house instead of a condominium, Cebu offers plenty of subdivisions where you can buy a home. In most cases, and it applies to the rest of the country, real estate agencies are the best way to find proper accommodation at affordable prices for rent.

As serviced apartments are hugely popular in Cebu for expats, advises that Cozy Studio in Cebu IT Park, ManuMo and Stunning Sea View Studio Unit@ Horizons 101 have received great reviews from guests in Cebu City. They continue by stating that many families visiting Cebu City enjoyed staying at 2313 Sun Vida Tower, Cebu City Condo Hotel in Meridian with Netflix and WIFI, near Ayala and IT Park U7 09 11 and Grand Residences Studio Unit - Walking Distance to IT Park. Finally, some of the best serviced apartments in Cebu City near Ayala Center Cebu include Citadines Cebu City, 88th Avenue and Twin Bed Unit- MIGAs Haven at Sunvida Tower.

Which area to live in in Cebu

Most expatriates in Cebu choose to settle in the following neighborhoods:

  • Maria Luisa

  • Northtown

  • Sunny Hills

  • Sylver Hills

  • Santo Nino Village

  • Garden Ridge

  • Paradise Village

  • Country Club Village.

In fact, you are more likely to find individual houses and small condominiums with a swimming pool in these areas.

Lease conditions in Cebu

The main points to know before entering into an official lease agreement in Cebu (which is highly recommended) is that the contracts are normally for a tenure of one year, and a deposit of two months is the general rule of thumb, although this can be negotiated with the property owner or realtor.

We recommend a lease agreement in Cebu (and the Philippines) as it protects both parties; the property owner and the expat, otherwise known as the lessee, and the lessor. The lease does not grant the lessee any ownership rights but allows them to use the property in exchange for monthly rental payments.

In the event that the tenant/lessee decides to move, a letter of cancellation must be provided to the landlord one month in advance in order for them to find new occupants.

The lease agreement/ contract will include the names of the tenants and the owner, witnesses, terms and conditions, rental rate, tenure, force majure and judicial relief information in the event of an issue. A deposit, valid ID, valid visa, and at times, your work contract will have to be produced before signing the lease agreement. The lease agreement will also need to be notarized in Cebu (by visiting the office of a Notary public).

It is strongly advised to always have a lease agreement, even if there is a cheaper option without. Know your rights and be secure with a notarized and legal contract.

Buying property in Cebu

Buying property in Cebu is a good investment for the shrewd investor and smart buyer and there are multi billion (php) projects being built across Cebu right now. The types of property available in Cebu range from apartments and condos to stand-alone houses or houses within a gated community.  The real estate market is also showing signs of growth post COVID-19 which is promising for the potential investor. Expats looking to invest in property in the Philippines must have a valid visa to purchase property. Find out more in our article Visas for the Philippines.

Buying property in the Philippines as an expat is permitted; however, there is a caveat: the actual land on which the property is built cannot be owned. Land purchases are on a 40% ownership for the expat and 60% to the local. 

Make sure the property is properly titled (has deeds and get the deeds checked with the local Registry of Deeds (RD) to verify the legitimacy of a title. In the Philippines, each area has its own RD, which holds the original titles to all registered lands under its jurisdiction.

Although it is clear that foreigners are not allowed to own land in the country, these rules are subject to certain exceptions, such as buying land through a corporation. Please seek local legal advice for more information on this.

Useful links:

Official site of the city of Cebu
My Property PH

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.