There’s a preconception that condo living in the Philippines is a luxury only a few can afford. This is because most condominiums and apartments nowadays are pricier than renting a house with a few shared beds, especially in the most progressive cities like Manila.
Condo living in Metro Manila, where dues are comparably more costly than the suburbs, could leave a hole in your pockets if you do not weigh out your options thoroughly and are not financially prepared.
According to a study, Manila is Southeast Asia’s 3rd most expensive city to live in. Moreover, the capital city has the second-highest rent prices next to Singapore and Bangkok, Thailand, despite having the lowest average working-class salary.
The Cost of Living in the Philippines
Compared to its Southeast Asian peers, the Philippines ranks lower economically but reigns at the top of the countries with the most expensive cities to live in.
As we all know, Singapore is one of the most developed cities in Asia, so, understandably, the cost of living is at the pedestal compared to its neighboring countries. The Philippines, on the other hand, ranks number one in the countries with the most expensive rents while still being on the lower end of the economic spectrum.
According to an article, the cost of living in Manila estimates at P50,800– considering the necessities such as rent, food, transportation, et cetera.
If you compare the average net salary of a middle-income Filipino to the cost of living in the capital city, there will be a noticeable gap.
Numbeo, a crowd-sourced global database that referenced data from over 500,000 participants, revealed that Manila has the lowest estimated net wage among other cities. Based on data, the average salary in the city amounts to around P18,900 per month only, making the cost of living 168 percent higher than the average salary.
Because of this phenomenon, most working Filipinos rent bed spaces, apartments, and shared rooms as owning actual condos or apartments could be costly. Doing so could allow them to have more budget for their daily needs like food and transportation.
Benefits of condo living and why it costs so much
Most often than not, a square unit of a condominium is more expensive than a typical house and lot. According to Colliers International, the most expensive condo units in the Philippines could cost you at least P55,000 per sqm. But is there a justifiable reason for this?
If you look at the real estate developers’ flyers, brochures, and websites, a condo’s selling points are usually its amenities and location. When you decide to go for condo living, you’re paying for the convenience, efficiency, and comfort that the place could offer as to living in a traditional house.
Living in a condo means having exclusive access to amenities such as swimming pools, fitness gyms, yoga studios, basketball courts, function halls, and even lifestyle malls at your convenience. On the flip side, owning a house and lot could cost you transportation and miscellaneous fees to get to your daily destinations and necessities.
Now, if you’re undecided whether to buy a condo or a house and lot, here’s a question you might ask yourself: Are you willing to pay extra bucks in exchange for your time and effort? If yes, then condo living might be your top choice.
Disadvantages of living in a condo
While living in a condominium rains with perks, it also has downsides; one is the space.
One of the most crucial factors homebuyers consider before settling in a home is the amount of space they can get. Of course, those who live with their kids or parents need at least a one-bedroom suite, but that still depends on how many people will reside in the place.
Luckily, more and more developers like Empire East now offer condos with bigger spaces ranging from one to three-bedroom suites, some even with a balcony. This trend in real estate can help answer the call of homebuyers for bigger spaces, allowing them to choose the convenience of condo living over traditional houses.
Another factor you might consider is the condo fees. Owning a condo means paying monthly association dues used for the operation and maintenance cost of the entire community.
Other issues may arise, including privacy, security, and neighborhood, but these depend on the developer’s track record and the overall quality and history of the development; thus, thorough research is vital before you decide to settle in.
Is condo living a luxury only a few can afford?
This only proves that condos need not be expensive, and definitely, condo living is not a luxury only the elites can enjoy. You just need to find the right developer, the suitable unit, and the price point that works best for you.
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