Q&A: How much cheaper is it to buy a home in the Greater Manila Area than in Metro Manila itself? |
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Q&A: How much cheaper is it to buy a home in the Greater Manila Area than in Metro Manila itself?

by MyProperty.phPublished: March 28, 2017Updated: April 17, 2017

Can your home buying budget go farther if you buy in the Greater Manila Area instead of Metro Manila?

The prices of homes in Metro Manila compared to the Greater Manila Area

Q: How much cheaper is it to buy a home in the Greater Manila Area than in Metro Manila itself?

A: When buying a home, location is one of primary considerations being looked at by property seekers. One is convenience, as a property located near key roads and public transport terminals makes traveling to and from these places a breeze. Another is safety, as homes must be in neighborhoods considered to be generally safe in areas such as crime, earthquake damage and flooding. A third location-related benefit is property value appreciation, with some locations are considered prime real estate, meaning home values in these places tend to increase faster, which is beneficial to  those who intend to sell later on. These reasons and more are why location is also a large factor that affects a property’s selling price.

There is another location-based consideration that plays into a property’s price: choosing between Metro Manila and the Greater Manila Area (GMA). Some people who find Metro Manila too crowded and the prices too high might wander to provinces—Tarlac, Pampanga and Bulacan in the north; Rizal in the east; and Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas in the south—in search of their new home. On the other hand, many still believe that nothing beats living within the comforts and convenience of the National Capital Region (NCR).

In 2016, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas released the Residential Real Estate Price Index (RREPI), which noted the average change in prices of different housing types and in different locations. According to the report, the second quarter of 2016 showed a sharp decrease of year-on-year growth of 2.7 percent in all types of housing in NCR, compared to an increase of 17.6 percent during the same period in 2015. On the other hand, the year-on-year growth rate of homes outside Metro Manila rose by 18.4 percent during the 2nd quarter of 2016, a big leap from the growth rate of 9.9 percent during the same period in 2015.

Nevertheless, with prices being higher to begin with, residential properties in Metro Manila remain generally more expensive than those found in the GMA, which is why some buyers believe they get more for less when purchasing in provinces that are not too far out from NCR. But how different are the prices between the two areas?


Case 1: Your Specifics

Let us say you are a newlywed getting ready to have kids soon and looking for a new place, specifically a brand-new townhouse with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a one-car garage. In Quezon City, where most of the country’s most prestigious schools and hospitals are found, a 90 sqm home with these specifications built on a 114 sqm lot has a price tag of Php5.594 million. About an hour and a half away in Mabalacat, Pampanga, a slightly larger home (91 sqm floor area, 120 sqm lot) with the same specifications is priced at Php2.395 million.

What about young professionals who are looking to live in a condo close to their workplace in one of the country’s most prominent business districts? A 35 sqm, one-bedroom condo unit is selling for Php9 million in Legazpi Village, Makati, which is right in the heart of the Makati central business district. In comparison, a 35 sqm, one-bedroom condo unit in Cainta, Rizal can be purchased for a little over Php2.579 million.


Case 2: Your Budget

This time, let us consider a budget of just over Php5 million for buying a house for your growing family. If you plan to move your family to Alabang, Muntinlupa, a three-bedroom dwelling with a 66 sqm floor area can cost Php5.2 million. In comparison, the same amount can get you a four-bedroom home with a 171 sqm floor area in Calamba, Laguna. 

As for condo dwellers with a budget of around Php3.5 million to Php4 million and would like to live within a business district, Php3.9 million can buy a 36 sqm, one-bedroom condo in Taguig’s Bonifacio Global City, which is one of the country’s most prominent business districts, Ortigas Center. If distance will not be an issue, Php3.9 million can also buy a 48 sqm, two-bedroom condo in Tagaytay.


Is This Always the Case?

It is important to take note that there are many well-developed areas in provinces that also command higher property prices compared to those located in less developed communities. Keep in mind that there are so-called Next Wave Cities, areas in the Philippines seen to have great potential due to their ability to sustain information technology and business process management (IT-BMP) companies. In last year’s list, half are in GMA: Santa Rosa, Laguna; Taytay, Rizal; Malolos, Bulacan; Dasmariñas, Cavite; and Lipa, Batangas.

One example is Ayala Land’s Nuvali, a well-reputed and highly developed township where prices continue to increase due to its constant growth. Located in a portion of the old Canlubang Sugar Estate that covers the cities of Calamba, Cabuyao and Santa Rosa in Laguna, a 248 sqm lot in Hillcrest Estates, one of Nuvali’s residential estates, costs almost Php4.6 million. At a price of Php18,548 per sqm, this lot costs slightly higher than a 239 sqm Las Piñas lot selling for Php4.2 million or Php17,573 per sqm.

The same can be said for many parts of Tagaytay, which is now a thriving city due to the continuous development of its business, tourism, and real estate landscape. In Tagaytay Highlands, one of the most well-known and most high-end communities in the city, a 56.73 sqm, one-bedroom, one bathroom condo costs Php7.337 million.

Main photo via Shutterstock

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