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In recent years, the Philippines has come out of the shadows to complete with the most vibrant Southeast Asian economies. It has transitioned over the past decade into a 'tiger cub economy.' Although it has been battered by Typhoon Haiyan and other calamities, it has proven its economic resiliency, bouncing back with a record-high 7.2% GDP last year. Top credit rating agencies placed the country at an investment grade status, while others have even upgraded its investment ratings. Although it fell a bit short in its projected first quarter performance, posting a 5.7% growth rate, the economy is still in a good place, with a long-term forecast growth of 4.5% to 5% from 2016 to 2030.

The country was able to win back business confidence with more foreign investments coming into the country and the hyperactive IT-BPO industry continuously expanding. These growth drivers have led to the booming real estate market in Metro Manila. With more and more employment opportunities opening up in key business districts in the metropolis, various residential developments have proliferated in the area to provide viable living space options for urban workers and professionals.

The current live-work index will show the average rental cost of different residential options in Metro Manila as well as the trends and their common elements.

Live-work index: rental rates in different cities in Metro Manila

The leasing cost of various residential options such as condo units, bed spaces, and apartments are strongly driven by the economic growth and other developments in the area, as opposed to the population density in the city. Based on the live-work index, condos, bed spaces, and apartments have higher rental rates in areas within the CBD or near the business center compared to other locations. For instance, rooms good for one person have an average monthly rental cost of Php 6,000 in Makati, while in Manila, Quezon City, and Marikina, these have an average monthly rate of only Php 3,000. Taguig, home to Bonifacio Global City, has posted the highest average annual cost for renting an apartment, condo unit, and bedspace (as shown in the table), along with Makati, the key financial district of the country.

High-end residential projects and large-scale mixed-use urban developments are typically found within the central business district and other prime locations in the metro. The higher average rental cost can, therefore, be attributed to the economic activity in the area and the burgeoning developments, from upscale retail outlets to high-end lifestyle choices. These locations have understandably high property values, driven by the strong demand and the accessibility of its location to various points of interest.

While leasing options in Makati are not all expensive, numerous upscale residential projects and luxurious apartments have hiked up the average rental cost. The lowest rental rates, meanwhile, can be found in areas near universities and colleges such as Manila, Marikina, and Quezon City since usual tenants of condos, apartments, and bed spaces here are students.

Average rental cost per year

  • Bedspace/person - Php 41,083.00 (median: Php 40,000.00) 
  • Condo/person - Php 76,611.11 (median: Php 70,000.00) 
  • Apartment/person - Php 60,000.00 (median: Php 51,000.00) 

Common living space elements and features

  • Most apartments come semi-furnished. About 3 to 4 people usually live in the same apartment. 
  • Condo units may have limited space and may be quite expensive. But what makes them highly attractive options is their 24/7 security and a good set of shared amenities and facilities, which include a swimming pool, gym or fitness center, and lounge area. 
  • Bed spacers typically have access to communal facilities such as the kitchen, TV, and refrigerator. Bed spacers normally have to pay for metered utilities.

City Average Annual Rent (per person)
Apartment Condo Bedspace
Las Pinas 45,000.00 64,000.00 36,000
Makati 120,000.00 76,666.67 72,000
Mandaluyong 51,000.00 52,000.00 36,000
Manila 30,000.00 40,000.00 30,000
Marikina 30,000.00 40,000.00 30,000
Muntinlupa 54,000.00 76,000.00 33,000
Paranaque 60,000.00 80,000.00 40,000
Pasay 54,000.00 80,000.00 30,000
Pasig 36,000.00 70,666.67 48,000
Quezon City 45,000.00 60,000.00 30,000
San Juan 75,000.00 120,000.00 36,000
Taguig 120,000.00 160,000.00 72,000