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Why many OFWs in their 20s get their own condo

According to property experts, the age group of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) now who are investing in properties such as condo units is getting younger, unlike 10 years ago.
The Filipino Times talked to stakeholders and they said the younger OFWs are becoming more educated now about investing. Most of them are even registering for events where they can get more investment knowledge and opportunities, such as the Philippine Property and Investment Exhibition (PPIE)—the biggest, longest running and most trusted Philippine business and investment forum in the Middle East—via: http://events.ppie.ae/register/
Manuel “Manny” Arbues II, Ayala Land International Sales regional head for North America and the Middle East, said that most of today’s OFWs are children of the previous generation of OFWs themselves, who, through hard work, were able provide for their offspring’s fundamentals for life, education among them.
“Dito sa UAE, yung mga buyers natin are getting younger and younger. A lot of them are in their late 20s,” Arbues said, adding that retirement money by way of passive income and a small business always top the reasons why they are investing in real property.
The previous batches of OFWs were mostly construction workers and domestic helps who could not have thought of putting their money in condominiums because they rightfully placed their priorities on their children’s education, Arbues said.
This, in turn, caused their children to be employed in better positions and ergo, make good money, he explained.
The downside to this, said Arbues, is that the OFW parents were not able to save for their own retirement.
“And so, they learn from their parents. Natuto sila that they really have to secure their future,” Arbues said.
Ma. Teresa A. Tatco, Avida Land assistant vice president for corporate marketing and rental leasing, meanwhile said, the trend among young OFW buyers is to secure their own property first then get another one for income generation.
“They buy their own home. Then, once natapos nang bayaran, they get another unit naman for passive income,” Tatco said.
She said OFWs in the older age bracket are now making haste to invest in real property to make up for lost time.
“They really want to invest now kasi before ay padala lang ng padala,” Tatco said.
Arbues said Ayala Land had a 173% year-on-year sales growth in the UAE, citing the company’s residential business group report.
READ ALSO: Meet the OFW couple with many properties who believe it’s never too late to invest
Mindset
Back in the earlier days of the Filipino diaspora, there were not too many OFWs who were into investing in real property, said Vince Lubrin, Robinsons Land International group area manager for Middle East, North America and Canada.
“Dati, hindi pa ganun ka-educated mga tao pag-dating sa usaping investment. Ngayon, we have a strong base of middle-class professionals na ang karamihan ay mga OFWs na kayang bumili ng condominium for investments,” Lubrin said.
Added Daisy Bayan, Greenfield Marketers UAE business development manager: “Statistically, marami nang nagiging open ang isip sa pag-iinvest sa condo or property.”
Bayan, who has been in the property industry for some 10 years too, having done the rounds in at least three major developers in the Philippines, said: “Lumakas ang demand kaya dumami ang supply at mga developers na rin.”
Greenfield Marketers UAE is an affiliate of Greenfield Development Corp. (GDC).
Financial literacy
Randell Tiongson, a renowned financial literacy advocate, said there is growth in the number of OFWs buying properties whether for investment or personal use.
“May increased capacity. Gusto nila ng passive income. Ang savings level at investment level ay umaakyat,” he said. “Namumulat na sila na kailangan nilang mag-invest; natuto na sila ng financial literacy. Yung iba naman na-impluwensiyahan ng kaibigan na nag-invest na dati at kumikita na sa pinaparentahan condo, kaya tuloy gusto rin nilang gumaya para magkaroon rin ng sariling condo investment.”
READ ALSO: More OFWs upbeat about investing in PH properties
Aggressive marketing and a robust property sector
Tiongson said real estate companies continue to market because there is a potential. “Kapag walang benta hindi naman magma-marketing,” he said.
As Bayan said, the demand actually went up and so supply caught up, likewise did the number of developers most of which, she said, have also put up satellite offices in countries with the most concentration of OFWs like the UAE, and started participating in property exhibitions PPIE organized by New Perspective Media (NPM).
READ ALSO: PPIE holds comprehensive seminars on property investments

Staff Report

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