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Can Expatriate Families Flourish in Manila Rental Living? An Exclusive Guide to Navigating the Vibrant Condo Lifestyle in the Heart of Manila

Date: February 16, 2024



Are you considering relocating your family to Manila, the vibrant capital city of the Philippines? With its booming economy, diverse culture, and multitude of opportunities, Manila is an attractive destination for expatriate families seeking a new adventure. However, finding the right accommodation in this bustling metropolis can be a daunting task, especially for foreign families. Fear not, as we've compiled a comprehensive guide to recommended places for foreign families in Manila, focusing on condo-style living, which is prevalent in popular districts like Eastwood City, Century City, Rockwell Center, and Fort Bonifacio Global City.


Exploring Manila's Neighborhoods


Manila is a sprawling metropolis comprised of 16 districts, each offering its own unique charm and amenities. From the historic landmarks of Intramuros to the bustling streets of Quezon City, there's a neighborhood to suit every lifestyle. However, for expatriate families seeking modern amenities and a safe environment, certain areas stand out:


  • Makati City: Renowned as Manila's central business district, Makati City offers a vibrant urban lifestyle with proximity to major commercial centers, top-notch schools, and recreational facilities. Forbes Park, an exclusive enclave within Makati, boasts luxurious residences and upscale amenities.



  • Bonifacio Global City (BGC): Situated in Taguig City, BGC is a modern, master-planned community known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and world-class amenities. With international schools, shopping malls, and recreational parks, BGC is a popular choice for expatriate families seeking a dynamic lifestyle.


  • Ortigas Center: Located at the border of Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Quezon City, Ortigas Center offers excellent transportation infrastructure and a wide range of residential options. With its strategic location and diverse community, Ortigas Center is ideal for expatriate families looking for convenience and connectivity.


  • Alabang: South of Metro Manila, Alabang offers a relaxed suburban lifestyle with affordable housing options and proximity to commercial centers and international schools. Ideal for families on a budget, Alabang provides a tranquil retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.


  • Quezon City: As the largest city in Metro Manila, Quezon City offers a diverse mix of residential neighborhoods, shopping districts, and entertainment hubs. With its strategic location and vibrant atmosphere, Quezon City appeals to expatriate families seeking affordability and convenience.



Navigating the Rental Market


When it comes to renting accommodation in Manila, expatriate families have a plethora of options ranging from studio apartments to spacious condominium units. The rental market is influenced by factors such as location, amenities, and proximity to key establishments. Here's what you need to know:


  • Average Rental Prices: Rental prices vary across different neighborhoods, with upscale areas like Makati and BGC commanding higher rents compared to suburbs like Alabang and Quezon City. On average, a studio or one-bedroom unit in Makati can cost between 35,000 pesos to 130,000 pesos per month, while prices in other areas range from 22,000 pesos to 95,000 pesos per month.


  • Lease Conditions: Lease contracts in Manila typically have a one-year term, renewable upon mutual agreement between the landlord and tenant. Tenants are usually required to pay a deposit equivalent to two months' rent, along with providing valid identification and visa documents.



  • Accommodation Options: From semi-furnished apartments to fully equipped condominium units, expatriate families can choose accommodation that suits their preferences and budget. Condominium living offers shared amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, and function halls, providing a convenient and comfortable lifestyle for residents.


Considering Property Ownership


While renting is a popular choice for expatriate families in Manila, some may consider purchasing property as a long-term investment. However, there are certain regulations and considerations to keep in mind:


  • Foreign Ownership: Foreigners are generally prohibited from owning land in the Philippines, but they can acquire condominium units and townhouses provided that no more than 40% of the units in a condominium project are owned by foreigners.


  • Legal Considerations: Expatriates looking to buy property in Manila must have a valid visa and comply with local regulations governing property ownership. It's advisable to seek legal advice and conduct thorough due diligence before making any real estate transactions.



Ensuring Safety and Security


Safety is a top priority for expatriate families living in Manila, and many residential developments offer 24-hour security services and CCTV surveillance. Additionally, expatriates are advised to choose neighborhoods with lower crime rates and prioritize personal safety measures such as locking doors and windows.


Relocating to Manila can be an exciting journey for expatriate families, and condo-style living offers a convenient and comfortable lifestyle in the heart of the city. By exploring recommended neighborhoods, navigating the rental market, and understanding property ownership regulations, foreign families can make informed decisions and enjoy a fulfilling experience in Manila. Whether you're seeking urban excitement or suburban tranquility, Manila has something to offer for every expatriate family.


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