The best time for OFs to buy property
While some overseas Filipinos (OFs) are taking a wait-and-see stance, opting to let the national elections in May this year pass before buying real estate in the country, property experts see things differently.
Property experts foresee national elections not to play much of a factor in real estate industry movements, stressing that things would still depend on what buyers are on the market for.
Alejandro S. Mañalac, former National Real Estate Association chair and ThinkInvest chief adviser, explained: “If the property that is being eyed by OFs is for end use, it doesn’t really matter whether they buy before or after the elections. If they are expecting prices to go down after the elections, they might be disappointed. If they can afford it now and have enough buffer funds to pay their monthly amortizations, they can already start their search now. The important thing is for them to know how to ask the ‘right questions’ from their agents.”
Enrique M. Soriano III, Ateneo program director for real estate and senior adviser for Wong+Bernstein Business, said: “Property purchases will depend on the needs of the buyer. If the objective of the purchase is purely to invest in real estate, the timing will always be on the opportunity presented. Should there be below-market prices, investors can seize the opportunity. Here are some tips to consider. The choice is really confined to the following: a) the type of asset class (condo, lot or house and lot, commercial); b) risk and returns; and c) value of the property,” he enumerated.
Monique Cornelio Pronove, CEO of Pronove Tai International Property Consultants, said “real estate acquisition is influenced primarily by the economics of supply and demand. There is no rule of thumb as to the right month to buy, but traditionally, we see an uptick in acquisition during the 4th and 1st quarters of the year.”
Soriano added that if the purchase is primarily for the buyer’s own use, then the most opportune time depends on how urgent the need is.
“Is the buyer in a hurry to move in, for example, in six months? Assuming there is no urgency, the summer months would be highly recommended so repairs and beautification can happen prior to the rainy season starting in May. Here are important tips: Crucial elements should cover: a) cash flow, meaning the ability to pay the downpayment and the amortization; b) location of the property; c) completion period; d) (developers’) reputation and postsales service,” Soriano said.
In addition, Soriano advised OFs to conduct their own research online, seek advice from unbiased colleagues when purchasing a condominium or a house, and prepare a checklist of property documents.
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