OFWs harness the Internet for property hunting


JUST like the typical Juan de la Cruz, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are also yearning to buy their own home.

This is one major motivation for them to work hard and sacrifice to be far away from home and from their loved ones to give them a stable future.

Makati City

Michael McCullough, managing director of local Savills associate KMC MAG Group, said owning a home is a cultural achievement that is very important to all Filipinos—a state of mind that every Filipino, especially those working abroad, harbors, and one of the factors that have been driving the local housing market.

In a study, global real-estate portal Lamudi reported that overseas Filipinos have been harnessing the power of the Internet in search for properties to buy for their loved ones. As of May 2017, Lamudi reported that close to 800,000 users every month has visited their web site to search for properties online available on their more than 700,000 listings.

Out of the 5 million visitors in 2016, Lamudi reported that close to 25 percent were based overseas. The US had the heaviest traffic with 6 percent of all users in 2016 came from. “This figure corresponds to close to 300,000 web site users for the entire year,” Lamudi said. The United Arab Emirates came in second, corresponding to about 2 percent of all users who visited the web site in 2016, which is around 95,000. Lamudi said Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and Qatar followed the US and the UAE. These countries have sizable Filipino communities.

Quezon City

House and lot came out as the most searched property types for all these 10 countries (equivalent to 61.29 percent of all searches), followed by condominium (18.11 percent) and land (15.08 percent). Commercial properties and apartments corresponded to 3.65 and 1.87 percent of all searches in 2016, respectively.

In terms of preferred destinations by OFWs, Lamudi found out that the top 10 most searched cities include Quezon City, Cebu, Makati, Davao, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Tagaytay, Pasig, Taguig and Baguio, respectively. The prevailing reasons these locations emerged at the top may vary, but it can be safe to say that some OFWs buy to get a permanent residence for their families left behind, while others are looking for areas that can be allocated to family members (e.g., college-bound students) in the Metro. Likewise, many might also be looking to buy with the intention of having a retirement property in the future (hence, the presence of touristy areas in the top 10, such as Cebu, Tagaytay and Baguio).

To reach out to more buyers, Lamudi will launch its Affordable Housing Fair on July 15 and 16 at Glorietta 3 Activity Center in Makati City.

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