The Project Review : Philippine Real Estate News and Update

News and updates on real estate developments and projects; current event news updates; property listings; home and architecture; laws and regulations; education and seminars; people; ecology and environmental issues; geography and history; places of interest and events; travel and tourism; tips and how to; others matters allied to the the Philippine real estate industry. Trivia and rants on anything under the sun.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Projects : Support "Songs for the Philippines" - For the Benefit of the Philippine Red Cross Yolanda Relief Efforts

Songs for the Philippines
The world’s biggest names in music have come together on one album in benefit of the Philippine Red Cross. Songs for the Philippines is a digital album of 39 songs including The Beatles, Adele, Beyonce, U2, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, One Direction and many more.
Help support the relief effort. Buy the Songs for the Philippines album as a gift for friends/family and then encourage them to buy the album for someone else. If each of us gift the album to just one friend and that person, in turn, gifts it to another – we can start a chain that spreads around the world.

The artists, record companies and music publishers who are collaborating on this project together with iTunes have all agreed to donate proceeds from “Songs For The Philippines” to the relief efforts of the Philippine Red Cross. “Songs For The Philippines” is available now globally on iTunes.
1. Go to Songs For The Philippines on iTunes and select ‘Gift This Album’ from the drop down menu

2. Choose your friends and family you wish to gift to and tell them to"keep the chain going #giftsongsforPH" in the message box

3. Let the world know you’ve taken part by sharing 'Keep the chain going #GiftSongsForPH' on Twitter or Facebook


To preview songs for downloads please click link below :

Source :

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Seminar - Announcement : PRA-Retirement Program Marketers' Accreditation

To All Real Estate Practitioners :

There will be a special Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) seminar for those interested to be accredited as Marketers of the PRA-Philippine Retirement Program. This is scheduled on December 5, 2013(Thursday) at the 29th floor, Citibank Tower, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati. The seminar  program is as follows : @ 1:30 P.M.-2:00 P.M. - Registration;  @ 2:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M.-Seminar Proper; 4:00 P.M.-onwards-Q&A/Open Forum. You can bring your associates. The seminar is free. Materials are free. Snacks hopefully are free. Your certificate and Marketer's ID will be issued by the Philippine Retirement Authority a few days after submission of your accreditation requirements.

For those interested to attend the seminar, please text  Mr. Mario Zavalla @ 0916-6444677 or  email to or to reserve a seat. Limited seats only.
Picture/Logo Source : PRA

Information : Is There a Real Estate Bubble on the Horizon?

Is There a Real Estate Bubble on the Horizon?

Is the Philippines currently experiencing a real estate bubble? Ateneo de Manila University’s Professor Enrique Soriano III shares his insights.

According to the laws of physics, when an object that has a higher density than air is propelled upwards, it returns back to earth because the forces of gravity act upon it. This same principle applies to property markets, especially the housing sector. When the prices of homes shoot up (characterized by a period of “irrational exuberance” accompanied by a buying frenzy from misinformed buyers), this further drives the valuations of real property until they reach unsustainable levels, then they decline.

Many economists agree that this is one of the telltale signs of a real estate bubble. However, what they don’t agree on is whether real estate bubbles can be identified and prevented and if they have broader economic repercussions are answered differently by schools of economic thought. But one thing is for sure—unlike a real bubble, a real estate bubble can end not with a pop but with a crash, similar with the one the United States experienced in 2007, which triggered the global financial crisis.

Recognizing when a bubble may occur becomes easier if economists and policy-makers can spot the red flags in the areas of lending, spending, and employment.


When the number of available home-loan program increases, home ownership increases with it. Although this is not dangerous in itself, it can be a subtle sign of a bubble forming, especially when buyers increase housing obligations while their income remains the same. This is not necessarily a bad thing. However, most borrowers fail to take into consideration certain life occurrences—such as illness, layoffs, and pay cuts—that will affect the good standing of their mortgages.

This is best exemplified by the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States, which triggered the late 2000s financial crisis. Because of low credit quality, mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures rose, which resulted in the decline of securities backed by said mortgages and the collapse of major financial institutions.


Market sentiment also is a telltale sign of a bubble forming. When conditions are favorable for lenders (low unemployment, high consumer spending, etc.), home-loan programs abound, and property buyers bask in attractive financing plans to buy condos and upgrade homes. Buyers become plentiful as home equity grows. This is usually described as a seller’s market.

However, a vibrant real estate market is bound to become saturated with mortgage debt, which often leads to the decrease in lending and the number of potential homebuyers. Equity naturally slips and profits from home sales gradually decrease. This is usually regarded as a buyer’s market.

A buyer’s market is not necessarily a bad thing. However, when this continues and prices continue to fall, more homeowners find themselves suddenly “underwater” (owing more on their mortgages than their properties are worth). In worse cases, foreclosures loom.


A vibrant labor market also typically results in increases in home sales. Banks, especially if they’re profiting from good-standing mortgages, will start to offer more loan products. Employment-related population increases often follow, down payments become more common in real estate purchases, and property values rise. Keen on cashing in on this favorable market condition, real estate developers go through a building binge, expecting that demand will continue indefinitely.

When job fronts level off and unemployment rates increase, a bubble could be in the horizon. Professionals begin moving to favorable markets in search of better jobs, consumer spending decreases, and the market becomes flooded with available properties. This drives property values down, marking the true making of a bubble.

The Philippine Scenario

The Philippines’ newfound economic exuberance is boosting an optimistic sentiment not seen since before the start of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. During the first quarter of this year, for example, GDP grew 7.8 percent, faster even than China’s, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Growing affluence and a newfound appetite for investment are fueling the concept of property investment among Filipinos. There is now a huge demand not only for buy-to-rent properties, but also for lifestyle or vacation homes that double as investment.

Although at the moment the Philippines is not experiencing a real estate boom similar to the one before the 1997 crisis, the country’s residential market is at a longer and sustained cycle, and that most developments, especially medium- and high-rise projects, are heavily concentrated in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.

But what’s interesting is that amidst the oversupply in the high-end segment, the Philippines quite ironically is currently experiencing a housing backlog of a staggering 3.9 million units. In fact, statistics show that 22 percent of Filipino families cannot even afford their own home, and at the current of production, the backlog is expected to hit 6.9 million by 2030.

The Philippines’ real estate sector is not exhibiting signs of a bubble yet as economic fundamentals are strong. If anything, risks such as exposure to debt, unchecked high prices, and a slide in our GDP exacerbated by the global financial crisis will result in a market correction rather than a real estate bubble bursting.

What Can Be Done to Sustain the Market’s Momentum?

In order for the industry to survive a sudden downturn, real estate developers need to maintain parity in absolute price and payment terms versus competition. They also need to develop a strong, sustainable brand architecture to be ahead of local competition.

The following criteria are also recommended for new projects: (a) along existing major transport routes; (b) areas with high population and economic growths; (c) limit “initial” project size to 10–30 hectares for mixed-used development; and (d) sound product design strategy.

A focus on the resilient mid-market and core housing developments also makes sense, as it is here where there’s strong demand (and need). In addition, more office portfolio developments on top of the growing BPO market will also prove highly sustainable.

Dispersal is also key. Major cities outside Metro Manila and neighboring provinces should be identified as potential areas for new projects. This comprises a sustainable business model for real estate developers.

In addition, developers must develop a strong sales distribution network, comprising of independent brokers, in-house salespersons, provincial sales contribution, international sales teams, and online or digital sales strategies. Operational efficiency will also contribute to overall profitability.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) must debut soon as its effects will be significant and the strong showing of the country’s bourse will be sustained. REITs will also encourage small players to follow global best practices in real estate investing. If the economy turns sour and no REITS debut, we will see moderate nominal falls (correction) in price points in 2015.

About the Author :
Professor Enrique Soriano III is the Program Director for Real Estate at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. He holds a B.A. in History from the University of the Philippines, an MBA from De La Salle University, Doctorate Units at the UP National College of Public Administration and pursued Executive Education at the National University of Singapore Business School.

Related Link : 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

People : Prof. Enrique Soriano III - Educator, Writer and Business Mentor

Chairman, Marketing Cluster
Program Director for Real Estate
Ateneo Graduate School of Business

Prof. Enrique Soriano III
Prof. Enrique Soriano III was recently conferred a National Agora Award for Excellence in Marketing Education. He is a Family Business Coach, Book Author, Professor of Global Marketing, Program Director for Real Estate and Chairman of the Marketing Cluster of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. (AGSB). He is also the Immediate Past President of the Association of Marketing Educators (AME) and Director of PCCI-Quezon City.

Prof. Soriano is currently a Senior Advisor of the Wong + Bernstein Advisory Group, a Strategic Consulting Group servicing ASEAN organizations related to Strategic Leadership, Growth in Asian Family Businesses, Organizational change and Competitive Strategies.
His advocacy and academic work related to Strategic Management and Family Business Governance has made him a sought after Advisor and resource speaker in International Conferences in the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and China.

As an educator and business mentor, he has helped and re-engineered dozens of companies to growth and profitability. He writes weekly columns in newspapers and Business Magazines in the Philippines and in a leading Filipino-American Newspaper in the US. His columns are widely circulated in popular Online Magazines in Europe as well.

This year alone, Prof Soriano has already delivered more than 150 talks in the Philippines and the ASEAN region espousing Strategic Innovation and Growth Strategies.

He just recently launched his Family Business Book entitled Kite Runner and is about to release his second Asian Edition book related to Business Governance: Powerful Insights on Leadership and Succession.

He holds a B.A. in History from the University of the Philippines, an MBA from De La Salle University, Doctorate Units at the UP National College of Public Administration and pursued Executive Education at the National University of Singapore Business School.

His last executive engagement was as Group CEO of the Belo Medical Group. Prior to his Belo engagement, he was the Chairman of publicly listed Suntrust Developer, President of Travelers Hotel International, Country CEO of ERA Philippines and set up the Commercial and Lifestyle Malls of Megaworld Corporation. He was formerly the Country CEO of ERA Philippine and VP and Group Head for Business Development of Greenfield Development Corporation/United Laboratories Group.

Related Link :

Information : The Growing World Retiree Market - Conclusion (Part V)

Marketing Challenges & Opportunities
By Mario G. Zavalla 

International retirement migration will assume greater importance to the economies of the host countries for the duration of the 2000’s as more and more retirees migrate to other countries in search of a higher quality of life at the same cost than what they could otherwise obtain in their home countries. On the other hand, those with relatively high proportion of aging persons to total population like Japan, and to a lesser degree, the United States and other highly-developed nations will continue to feel the pressure brought about by a burgeoning elderly population.

For countries like the Philippines which is seriously attempting to attract foreign retirees, it is imperative for the concerned sectors, especially real estate developers,  to comprehend deeply the retirees’ physical needs and wants as well as their aspirations for a higher quality of life. They should not treat this segment simply as another market to sell condominium projects  but rather retirement services where real estate is just a component albeit a large one.

The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA)

PRA Special Resident Retiree Visa

The late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, realizing the tremendous economic benefits that a retirement industry can bring to the country, signed into law Executive Order No. 1037 on July 4, 1985 creating the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA). It is mandated to attract foreign nationals and former Filipino citizens to invest, reside and retire in the Philippines. With a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) issued by the Bureau of Immigration, a retiree enrolled in the program  is given multiple-entry privileges, exemption of household furnitures from customs duties and import taxes, permanent residency at his/her option and others. Complete details and information about the Philippine Retirement Program can be obtained by communicating directly with the author of this article or by visiting PRA’s website at 

As of September 2013, the PRA has enrolled more than 31,000 participants into its program consisting of many nationalities. The top 3 countries of origin are Mainland China, then Korea followed by Japan. For the consumption of real estate developers and other investors who want to venture into the development and marketing of retirement services, we are showing  a rough study of a  one-hectare prototype retirement project in a resort setting  located in or near Tagaytay City targeting active seniors coming from either Mainland China, Korea and/or Japan belonging to the 55 to 65-year old bracket.

Assumptions :

Retirement Services & Facilities :
•  Shared living accommodations for 2 couples per bungalow with a floor area of 170 square meters, excluding a 2-car garage
•   Free breakfast
•   Emergency clinic with nurse on duty from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and van
•   Free use of gym
•   Massage
•   Spa
•   Salon
•   Dining/Coffee Shop
•   Utilities for the account of the Resident Retirees
•   Free housecleaning once a day
•   Laundry area
•   Free Wi-Fi
•   Free minor repairs of appliances
•   Free grounds  & building maintenance
•   Cable TV
•   Tour of Metro Manila & other places of interest (Optional)
•   Transportation to medical appointments


1.   Each bedroom will be leased for a period of 20 years for US $250,000 (P10,750,000) payable as follows: Down payment of US $50,000 per couple, the balance in 240 months at 6% p.a., or US $1,432 (P61,576) per month

2.  Each couple will pay monthly dues of US $400 (P17,200)

3.   Development Features:
    •   40% open space
    •   A 600-square meter clubhouse containing the following:  clinic, gym, spa, massage room,
salon, social hall, dining/coffee shop, 5 guest rooms, laundry area with washing machines, veranda,  living quarters for stay-in and emergency staff
    •   Landscaped surroundings
    •   Concrete roadways, curbs & gutters
    •   Back-up genset for the clubhouse

4.  Standard Housing Features:
    •   300-square meter lot
    •   2-BR bungalow with a floor area of 170 sq.m., excluding a 1-car semi-covered garage
    •   Spacious bedrooms which can comfortably accommodate 2 couples. Each bedroom will be     furnished with a king-size bed, mattress, pillows & night table, toilet & bath with shower enclosure & water heater, TV set, air conditioner, refrigerator & cabinet
    •   Common study/reading area, sala, dining & kitchen
    •   Garden

5.  No pre-selling

Estimated Investment Requirement:

Cost of land – 10,000 sq.m. x P1,200…………………..P12,000,000
Land development……10,000 sq.m. x P1,500…………P15,000,000
Cost of housing units, incl. furnishings & appliances
     170 sq.m. x P28,000 x 20 units……………….........P95,200,000
Cost of Clubhouse
     600 sq.m. x P30,000…………....…........................P18,000,000
Van……………………………………………….....….......P 1,750,000
Architectural & engineering fees, deposits,
licenses and fees equivalent to 10% of land
development & cost of construction of
housing units & clubhouse……………………………....P12,820,000………P154,770,000

Projected Yearly Cash Flows At 100% Occupancy


Downpayments :
US $50,000 x P43 x 40 bedrooms…………………P86,000,000

Installment Payments :
US $1,432 x P43 x 40 bedrooms x 12 months…….P29,556,480

Dues :
US $400 x P43 x 40 bedrooms x 12 months ………P 8,256,000……………….P123,812,480


Salaries and Wages :
15 workers x P10,000 x 14 months………………......P 2,100,000
Food supplies, toiletries & cleaning supplies…….....P 4,400,000
Utilities in common areas, incl. clubhouse……….....P 410,000
Real estate tax (2% of cost of land, land
development & buildings………………………..........P 2,804,000…… P 9,714,000

Miscellaneous (10% of P9,714,000)………..…….....P 971,400
Total Outflows……………………………...……........P 10,685,400

NET INFLOWS………………………..……....……...P 114,098,480

To conclude our report, we are narrating  the different lifestyle experiences reported in local periodicals by two retirees residing in the Philippines.

In the case of a 70+-year old retired elementary school teacher from Japan, she said, “This is paradise. Who wants to go back to Japan? Everything (in Japan) is so expensive. If you don’t have a fortune, your final days are just miserable.” Instead of squeezing by financially in Japan, she stays in a 3-bedroom townhouse located in Manila along with 10 other Japanese families, studies English, practices Flamenco dancing and goes diving. She added, …..about Y250,000 in monthly pension payments isn’t enough for a dignified life in Japan, but here, I can even afford two maids and a driver….”.


I will tell why I particularly enjoy living at Citylights Gardens Condos. First, a physical description of the place. Citylights is high in the hills of Lahug, Cebu, overlooking the city on one side, and very high-end housing with three ranges of mountains behind, on the other. You can see the blue-green domes atop the towers from many places in the city. Two of the towers were built in 2000, and the two larger towers are being finished now. If you know where the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel is, you have only to go up the road a bit to find the entrance to Citylights. Because they occupy a large level spur on top of a hilly ridge, with a drop-off on three sides, every condo has wonderful views. The large size of the parcel allows for many garden areas, a social hall, gym, playground, tennis courts, golf putting area, basketball court and a large pool. Each of the first towers have 15 floors, with six condos per floor.  The new towers have 18 floors, still only six to each floor. This plan maximizes views and minimizes hallways. When towers three and four are complete, there will not be any further construction. All the buildings are painted in pastel shades of peach and white. In looking for a new home, I had seven main objectives,  based on my earlier experiences in this country: location, security, privacy, quiet, climate, affordability and access to a large swimming pool.

Living at Citylights, I have been able to meet most of my objectives. The location is ideal; far enough from the congestion of the city, yet only a few minutes to several malls, where modern Filipino life is centered. It is just 20 minutes away from most parts of the city, double that to the wonderfully uncongested Cebu/Mactan airport. I can lock my door and be at the airport, with peace of mind, in about forty minutes. Citylights is on the national road to Toledo, which goes further up, should you want to buy some orchids or explore the mountains. Security is excellent, with a gated guard post, roving guards and a concierge at the entry to each tower. These guys are almost always awake to guard us. The underground parking is lit and safe. Driving up the hill, I turn in the drive, go by the guard post, giving a wave to the guard, who recognizes my car. I can then either go by the porte-cochere to pick up or drop off, or park underground, taking one of two elevators to my floor; walking a short distance to my door. I feel quite well taken care of here. Giving those tee shirts to the staff at Christmas was a good idea, but answering their smiles with a smile is a better one! When a delivery or service person arrives, the concierge calls. No one can enter the compound without my permission. When I leave my air mattress at the pool, they remind me. Our own maintenance staff is on call. Privacy is relatively assured by the height and location. No one looks into my main view windows.

It is a romantic idea to want to live by the sea, but experience has taught me that the seashore in this land can be one of the hottest places. The climate up here is a lot cooler than other parts of Cebu. Downtown is about three degrees hotter, Mactan is about four. This is because we almost always have a breeze blowing by our balconies and airing nicely through the gardens. And, the only mosquitoes above fourth floor are the ones which came in the elevator! Ants, well, that is another topic. I don’t know how high they can go! Those of us who have lived here awhile know that finding quiet places in this land can be very challenging. Even in remote locations, there may be roosters and dogs going off at all hours. Many Filipinos seem to be able to afford monster speakers for home or truck and love to share boom-boom music. While it is not completely quiet at Citylights, most of this is too far away. Citylights rises above most of the noise and other pollution of the city. And, when the windows are closed and the air con is on, a heavenly peace is ours. Except during the annual barangay fiesta, of course! They rent some humongous speakers! Condos here are between seven and ten million pesos, which is in the luxury range for Cebu. You could get a small house for less, but not with the advantages of quality construction, location, security, and service that we enjoy here. Of course you know that we SRRV members can buy a condo outright. As a matter of fact, we can buy as many condos as we want, all without marrying into the country and acquiring two hundred new relatives! Monthly dues are in the range of $150.-200., about one fourth what they would be for a condo in Hawaii, where the staff would probably also be Filipino.

Did I mention the swimming pool? I had to do a little experimenting to find a 25 meter straight place where I could do laps, because it a “free form” pool, meant more to look good than do laps in. But I found the perfect push-off places, and the pool is handsome. The bottom is light blue tile, the temperature is always just right. The water flows over the sides, and the staff tries to keep the leaves out of the sparkling water. My favorite routine is to sprawl on my air mattress to recharge my solar batteries, ten minutes on a side, watching the finishing touches being applied on the new towers, before doing my laps. After that experience, and a Cerveza Negra beer, I feel that I know the true meaning of retirement!


Picture Source:   Philippine Retirement Authority

Related Link :

Growing World Retiree Series :  (Part IV) (Part III) (Part II) (Part I)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Information : The Growing World Retiree Market (Part IV)

Marketing Challenges & Opportunities (Part IV)
By Mario G. Zavalla

Challenges and Opportunities Presented by the Growing Number of World Retirees

The knowledge that the number of the world’s elderly population is rising and will continue to rise in the distant future at a faster rate than what has happened in the last century should not be a reason for retirement project proponents to rejoice and be complacent.  First and foremost, they must not make the mistake of viewing this market as homogeneous in  character.  They must fully recognize the marketing implications not only of the differences in language but  also take into consideration the differences in age, health, gender, education, work and family history, income, motivation and other relevant socio-economic factors that  must be integrated into their marketing and development plans as well.

It’s a Retirees’ World

According to current projections, the global population will hit 8 billion by the year 2030 and will likely reach 9 billion by 2050. In the same token, it is also estimated that by 2030, one-fourth of the world’s population will be comprised of the silver-haired group. For sure, this will engender a big backlash affecting almost all facets of human life as it causes  severe strain in governments’ financial resources and  results in  structural changes in the patterns of taxation, investment, savings, consumption, health care, pension systems, labor movements, migration, and land use, especially housing.  From the points of view of  promoters of  retirement-related projects, however, such as retirement communities, hospitals, medicines, food, and of professionals like doctors, nurses, physical therapists, lawyers, real estate and travel agents and so on,   this situation will be a good opportunity for them to expand their businesses or start new ones.

Patterns in International Retirement Migration

More and more retirees are uprooting themselves from their home countries to relocate to other countries for  various reasons. This was echoed by the Retirement and Healthcare Coalition composed on the members of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. To emphasize this point, its Executive Director, Marc Daubenbuechel, advised Philippine developers to look beyond building mere “sleeping quarters” as other countries in the region have already went ahead with their own infrastructure build-up to get a bigger share of this ballooning silver market. He added, and I quote….”The country must be able to cater to their needs for retirement communities that fit their lifestyle”.

To provide a more insightful information about what retirees are looking for in a retirement area, I am summarizing a number of  observations taken from a research paper based on a survey conducted by Omar Lizarraga Morales from the Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa, Culiacan, Mexico, to draw a profile of the American retirees who migrated to Los Cabos, Baja California Sur located in the Northwestern part of Mexico.

1.  As of 2006, the United States Department of State estimated that a total of 1,036,300 of its citizens are living in Mexico, including those with tourist visas.

2.  The real estate boom in the area at that time was attributed to the influx of American retirees.

3.  Of the 13,905 registered American residents living in the same area, 7,704 are men and 5,283 women of whom 7,486 are renters who live on income from abroad with most spending their time in pursuit of rest and relaxation.

4. 88% of those surveyed visited Los Cabos as tourists before settling. The respondents came from border states (California, Texas and Arizona) while some came from Washington, Colorado and Oregon.

5. 45% of the population surveyed are between 45 to 63 years old who belong to the segment of the U.S. population called the  “baby boomers”….those born after World War II from 1946 to 1964. This group, it was also noted, do not yet enjoy Social Security benefits. Those who are 64 years old and older who are eligible to receive Social Security benefits constitute 34% whereas those under 44 years old make up 21%. Majority of the respondents have medium-high to high income, are business owners, salesmen, managers, real estate agents and some are teachers, doctors, military personnel, et al.

6.  25% receive a monthly income between USD2,400 to USD5,000, 20% receive more than USD6,000 monthly, 5% receive USD5,100 to USD6,000 monthly while 22% receive between USD1,000 to USD2,300 monthly.

7.  64% of those surveyed are married, 18% are divorced, 12% are single and 4% widowed.

8. 53% of the surveyed population have a university degree, 11%, a Master’s degree and 5%, a doctoral degree.

9.  The majority of those in the medium-high to high social class live in gated communities near the beach.

10. The predominant reason for choosing to retire in the area was climate, lifestyle, the people, economy, beaches, etc.

11. The American residents in Los Cabos spend USD2,000 monthly on the average for taxes, recreation, medical services, consumption, domestic helpers and so on. In this regard, the paper categorized the American residents as individuals who seek a lifestyle regardless of cost and those  who want to spend less for a higher quality of life than what they can get in their home country.     

International migration for the purpose of retirement has become an increasingly important feature of demographic and social change in world economies since the last decade of the 1900’s. Aside from Mexico, this movement has benefited other Central and South American  countries like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and a few others which are fortunate enough to be located or possesses certain  qualities that American retirees are looking for in a retirement place. Other retirement destinations like Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Hungary and Spain are preferred mostly by retirees from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden while Oceania, Australia and New Zealand are popular among retirees  from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, China, Hongkong, Macau, North and South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan.

Other Popular Retirement Destinations:

United Kingdom

Data taken from the Office of National Statistics show that 8 out of the top 10 retirement destinations in the United Kingdom are by the seaside. However, there are signs based on a survey that the typical lifestyle by the sea may be changing in favor of other priorities. For example, proximity to the sea has been relegated to number 7 among 10 criteria in the choice of a retirement destination . The selected priorities are presented below.
  • Proximity to family – 49%
  • A good public transport network – 43%
  • Fresh air – 35%
  • Amenities (bars, restaurants) – 30%
  • Culture and entertainment (museums, art galleries, cinema, theatre) – 27%
  • Proximity to the countryside – 25%
  • Proximity to the sea – 19%
  • A large community of other retirees – 7%
  • Other – 4%
  • None of the above – 11%

Chiang Mai, Thailand :


Fred Hultz, a retiree, summed up the reasons why he chose to retire in Chiang Mai,

       1.  The climate is favorable;
       2.   Your money will stretch further than you’ll believe;
       3.   The healthcare is excellent;
       4.   The housing is plentiful;
       5.   Lots of locals speak English;
       6.   There are over a dozen universities in town;
       7.   The food is unbelievably tasty.

Phuket, Thailand :

This retirement community is ranked number 22 among the top 30 retirement destinations in the world  in November 2013 by It is located on the northeast corner of the recently completed Laguna Village Phase I, The Lofts at Laguna Village are situated in three buildings surrounding a lake with lush landscaping and manicured grounds. Designed to accommodate an active lifestyle, these modern Loft-style apartments are stylish residential properties featuring sleek, trend-setting designs. 


The Lofts at Laguna Village
Price per unit ranges from USD 500,000 to USD 1,000,000 for units with floor areas ranging from 232 sq.m. to 557 sq.m.

. . . .to be continued.


About the Writer :

Mario G. Zavalla is a seasoned professional who has accumulated 30 years experience in middle and top management positions in private and government corporations  engaged in housing finance, commercial and investment banking, retirement promotions, manufacturing, management services and real estate development and marketing. After graduating from the Ateneo de Manila University, he took up MBA subjects at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. 

He is a licensed real estate broker, a member of PAREB-Marikina Valley Real Estate Board Inc. and Philippine Institute of Real Estate Practitioners Inc. (PhilRES). He is an active online member of PAREB-MLS and PAREB Online  and runs his own real estate brokerage office using the trade name The LIST and SELL REALTY GROUP, the owner and operator of  The PHILISTINGS BANK.


Mobile:  0916-6444677     Duo:  507-5801

Principal Email:

Alternate Email: