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Broker’s Report

Why arriving OFWs, OCWs must invest now

/ 05:27 AM December 02, 2017

With the advent of the Christmas season pretty much in the air, our international airports are already feeling the brunt of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and overseas contract workers (OCWs) returning home to be with their loved ones during the holidays.

Balikbayan boxes filled with “pasalubong” of every kind have become a normal sight as droves of our kababayans excitedly leave the gates of arrival lounges.

With giant malls going on sale almost every week to attract shoppers, hard earned dollars can easily get spent on appliances, gadgets, signature clothing, and accessories.

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But for the more pragmatic OFWs and OCWs, one of the best ways to invest a big chunk of the by-product of their blood and sweat would be in the various real estate projects. In fact, there is no better time for them to invest in real estate than now, and for a good reason.

Infrastructure projects

The Build, Build, Build program of President Duterte is going to usher in a lot of infrastructure developments nationwide including new highways, skyways, train systems and airports.

With a lot of local and foreign companies capitalizing in the Public-Private-Partnership program of the government, these infrastructure projects, which are part of the priority program of the incumbent administration, are definitely bound to take off and be completed.

Not only are these projects intended to ease traffic, they are also meant to decongest the metro because accessibility will allow people to travel with ease and at a lesser time.

This unprecedented move will translate into more real estate developments (residential, commercial, office, and industrial) within the periphery of these infrastructure projects.

With more real estate developers joining the bandwagon, the property sector becomes a buyer’s market. As more competing developers come in, buyers will have more choices, at more competitive prices and terms of payment.

Strong Philippine economy

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Experts are one in saying that the Philippines shall remain to have a bullish economy over the next five years.

With more and more tourists and foreign investors coming to the country, the Philippines is perceived to continue enjoying a vibrant and stable economic outlook.

This is tantamount to low market interest rates, which is favorable for property buyers because they can have their purchased properties financed by banks or institutions like the Pag-Ibig, SSS or GSIS which allow longer terms of payment at competitively low interest rates.

Exchange rates

The current exchange rate of roughly P50 to a dollar gives OFWs and OCWs more buying power and leverage for every dollar earned. The fluctuating exchange rate is therefore, something that OFWs and OCWs should treat with urgency when investing in real estate.

Tax reform bill

The Tax Reform Acceleration And Inclusion (TRAIN) bill—which is being rushed for approval and is expected to be implemented by 2018—is also another reason for OFWs and OCWs to treat their real estate investment plans with urgency.

Except for buyers of socialized housing, those intending to acquire house and lot packages could possibly be affected with higher housing costs due to value added taxes (VAT), once the new bill is signed into law.

Perfect investment

Regardless of the cost, buying real estate remains to be something that OFWs and OCWs will find more than reasonable for purposes of expecting value for their hard-earned money.

Undeniably, it’s everyone’s dream to have a property they can call their own. Whether it is for investment or for end-use, shelter remains to be a basic need of man after all.

It is a perpetual gift to yourself and family that can be passed on from generation to generation. And with money losing its value faster than ever, real estate continues to appreciate in value and is one investment that can be truly called a hedge against inflation.

The author is the president of SLLI Global Marketing Inc., a marketing group of Sta. Lucia Land Inc. and Sta. Lucia Realty Development Inc.

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