The Philippines is a prime retirement destination for many expats due to its relatively low cost of living and stunning attractions. In fact, it consistently ranks in the best countries for retirees.
However, buying property in the country as a non-citizen can be complex, so learning local real estate laws is crucial.
If you’re wondering, “Can a foreigner buy property in the Philippines,” this blog post will discuss everything you need to know about foreign property ownership in the country.
6 Exceptions That Allow Foreigners to Buy Properties in the Philippines
The Philippines generally implements strict regulations regarding foreign ownership of land. However, certain circumstances create a path for non-Filipinos like yourself to invest in your dream home or pursue a lucrative real estate venture in the country.
From special economic zones to marriage to a Filipino citizen, several exceptions can open doors in the Philippine property market even if you have a foreign passport.
1. You’re married to a Filipino citizen
Per local real estate laws, you, as a foreigner, can buy a condo or house in the Philippines if you have a Filipino spouse and abide by certain conditions.
First, the Transfer Certificate of Title, or TCT, must indicate the name of your significant other. You may include your name only in the deed or contract but cannot put it in the property title or TCT. While you may have bought the property, the law states you do not own it and can’t sell it unless you gain full approval from your spouse.
2. You’re a dual citizen
In the Philippines, holding dual citizenship gives you the right to buy property. The Dual Citizenship Law, or Republic Act No. 9225, allows natural-born Filipinos who acquired foreign citizenship through naturalization to reacquire their Philippine citizenship.
You’re acquiring property through hereditary succession. Hereditary succession refers to distributing a person’s estate upon death. Article 12 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that if your Filipino spouse or parent passes, you can own real estate property as the deceased’s natural or legal heir. Your name should appear in the property owner’s last will to inherit the asset.
And even if your partner or parent passes without executing a will, you still have the right to claim ownership due to intestate succession rules.
3. You’re buying a condo unit
According to “The Condominium Act,” foreigners can buy a condo in the Philippines. Here, you only need to meet specific provisions.
For instance, you can participate in condo investing or purchase and own a unit in the country outright as long as foreign ownership doesn’t exceed 40% in that development. The Condominium Corporation, which owns the land where the property stands, must ensure that the remaining 60% of the members are Filipino.
4. You’re buying land under a domestic corporation
A domestic corporation is an entity established or organized under Philippine laws. As a foreigner, being part of one is a legal means for you to own property within the country. You only need to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish a domestic corporation. Once authorized by the commission, you can legally buy land and property.
Like buying a condominium in the country, the same rules apply to domestic corporation-owned properties—that is, a Filipino citizen must hold a 60% stake in any property your foreign business buys.
5. You’re a natural-born Filipino who lost your citizenship
Individuals born in the Philippines who’ve lost their citizenship, regardless of the circumstance, have the right to buy property within the country.
If you’re a natural-born Filipino, the Philippine Republic Act 8179 states that you can acquire one (1) hectare of rural land or 1,000 square meters of urban land for residential purposes. Meanwhile, if you’re buying a property for business or investment purposes, the Batas Pambansa 185 lets you obtain 5,000 square meters of urban land or three (3) hectares of rural land.
Property Ownership in the Philippines
Economic viability, a sustainable lifestyle, a welcoming culture, and other factors may motivate you to consider permanent residency in the Philippines. However, owning property in the country can be complicated without proper knowledge. As such, research is imperative to minimize complications regarding real estate ownership.
By resolving the question, “Can a foreigner own land in the Philippines,” your journey in purchasing property can go as smoothly as possible.
For your first real estate investment property in the Philippines, make Mandani Bay your primary choice. Our condos for sale in Cebu perfectly match the luxurious condo living and exceptional lifestyle you envision.
To know more, browse our selection of properties today!