Regions on the Rise: Iloilo

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Location, location, location is the most popular catchphrase when it comes to property investment. Whether it’s a house, an apartment, an office, or any other commercial building, you want to be sure that its address is in the best place possible. 

One of the emerging real estate hotspots in the country is Iloilo. In a report we published early this year, we identified this Visayan city as a promising location, considering its thriving BPO industry and in-demand condo developments, among many factors. Here, we’re going to unpack other reasons Iloilo City is increasingly becoming a prime property investment location.

It’s in an infrastructure boom.

Smack right in the middle of the archipelago, Iloilo is highly accessible. It serves as an entrance to the Visayas, not only because of its air and seaports, but also because of its proximity to major cities and provinces, like Bacolod, Roxas, Antique, Guimaras, and Aklan. The ease of going to and from these key locations is partly the reason most companies who want to set up their operations outside Manila consider Iloilo as their headquarters. If ever the opportunity to expand in other key regions arise, it will be much easier to do so, given the accessible, strategic location of Iloilo.

It’s worth noting that the region’s increased accessibility is due to the strong infrastructure in the area and developments in the pipeline. The Iloilo International Airport was recently included in the list of Asia’s 20 best airports by the popular travel website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports. The P8.7 billion proposal to improve the seaport is already under review. And the road widening project for Panay east-west road is set to be in full operation by 2022. 

A highly accessible area attracts tourists and investors, and even OFWs who want something concrete to show for their hard work. Given this, Iloilo is a location whose real estate industry you’ll want to watch.

It has strong government support.

When considering a location to invest in, look at how the local government runs. You’re going to deal with policies and regulations that can considerably affect demand and prices if you’re planning to set up a real estate business, especially if you’re still working overseas when you start preparing the documents. Similarly, you also want to keep an eye on incentives that you can take advantage of to reduce costs. Tax credits and subsidies can change the status quo in the property market. Ideally, what you’re looking for in local government are pro-business advocates. 

On the flip side, when you’re buying a home, you’re interested to know how the municipality works, as their policies affect the community’s peace and order and the development of infrastructures that will make life easier. If buying a home for retirement is your goal, you also want to make sure the location is conducive to family life and growth.

In 2018, the capital of Iloilo was named the Most Improved Local Government Unit (LGU) for the category of highly urbanized city. Government efficiency is one of the criteria for the award. In the same year, the locale also recorded an eight percent increase from the previous year in the number of new businesses. The council remains true to its commitment to making it easy for entrepreneurs to set up ventures, making it a good option for OFW investors. The application for a business permit only takes three steps: filing of documents, claiming of Tax Order of Payment, and then claiming and payment of permit. 

This year, the city was awarded Most Business-Friendly Highly Urbanized City (HUC) by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In terms of residential area attractiveness, the developing metropolis was one of the top 10 safest cities in Southeast Asia in October 2019, along with Makati, Davao, and Cebu. At the same time, there are also plans to make Iloilo one of the most livable urbanized cities, the next location to have city-wide free wifi services, in fact. It’s not surprising that there’s a strong demand for homes in the region. From our own data, 5.02% of searches from January to September of 2019 were looking into properties for sale in Iloilo. Amaia Scapes Iloilo, from Amaia Land Corporation, was even shortlisted for the category Best House in Visayas and Mindanao at the recently-concluded The Outlook: Philippine Buyers’ Choice Property Awards, showing that Iloilo’s developments are recognized by the panel of judges as some of the noteworthy projects to watch out for in the region.

It’s a warm-hearted community.

The region’s capital isn’t called the “City of Love” for nothing. Ilonggos are among the most loving, soft-spoken people you’ll meet. When you’re looking for your next home or deciding where to retire in the country after years of hard work abroad, you want to be in the company of this kind of people. You won’t just enjoy a home sweet home, but a community close to your heart.

In addition, Ilonggos are very hard-working, with weavers, seafarers, fruit pickers, and many more earning the praises of foreign employers and nationals. If you are to set up a real estate business, you want your engineers, architects, agents, landlords, and tenants to have this kind of attitude and work ethic. The quality of your services largely depends on the quality of your team.

Invest in Iloilo

In property investments, location matters. The kind of lifestyle your family embraces will change along with the change in your address. At the same time, the success of your real estate business depends on where it is. If you want to be sure you’re making the right decision, invest in the rapidly-developing hotspot Iloilo. 

Start your search for real estate investments at the Lamudi Housing Fair happening in Mall of Asia this December 14. With exhibits from PA Properties, Damosa Land, Inc., BPI Family Housing Loan, Robinsons Land Corporation, RCD Land, CDC Holdings, Inc., MyCitiHomes, Solar Resources, Inc., Hidalgo Land Development Corporation, Megaworld Global Estate Resorts, Inc., Citibank, and many others, you will have plenty of options to choose from. Brokerage firms, insurance companies, and furniture suppliers will also be present in the event, helping you with everything real estate.

Follow the official event hashtag #LamudiHousingFair and check Lamudi’s Facebook page (@LamudiPhilippines) and Instagram account (@lamudi_ph) to get the latest news about the Housing Fair in MOA.

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