Filipino Expats Grab Housing Deals at Expo

DUBAI - Filipino expats, some of them married to foreigners, have gone in for property deals in choice locations in the Philippines at the second Filipino Exposition (FilEx) 2009 in Dubai.

By Lily B. Libo-on

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Published: Tue 7 Jul 2009, 3:53 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:55 PM

The buyers told Khaleej Times that they have been planning for a long time to either build or buy a house and plots back home but they have always been unable to do so for lack of time.

“A month’s vacation is too short for us to be with families and friends, and plans to go and scout for housing packages are almost always relegated to the background,” Anita Cuevas, 35, who has been working in Dubai for 15 years said.

The housing packages ranging from P698,000 to P3 million are affordable to most Overseas Filipino Workers as they can be financed by Pag-IBIG Overseas Program (POP) of the government at an interest rate of as low as six per cent and at a maximum loanable amount of P3 million.

The exchange rate on Monday was 13.1171 pesos to one UAE dirham, according to a leading money changer here. Remedios Gonzales, married to an Egyptian, has been working in UAE for 30 years. She said that she took a P1.3 million two-bedroom single attached house in the heart of Manila.

“I have long wanted to buy a house and a lot in Manila because we need a place to stay in the heart of the city to process our papers when we go home. I find this exhibition the best way to complement our needs.

We do not need to go home for the real estate developers are here in Dubai to serve us. I am pleased that this kind of exhibition is being organised for us,” Gonzales said.

She is one of the over 30 Filipinos who have taken the juicy housing offer from Metroland Realty, one of 14 property developers who joined FilEx which is organised by the ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel, the biggest Filipino broadcasting network in the region.

She felt more exhibitions of this sort be done yearly to be able to reach out to more Filipinos to get their dream house. Jaime Gayundato, 58, a supervisor of an aluminium company in the UAE for five years, also booked a two-bedroom townhouse.

“This is the best time for us to buy a house and lot because we do not need to go home and search for one. They are already here and the offers are very enticing.”

Realty developer Gil M. Ayop, president of Metroland Realty, and wife Let said the package is very affordable because the required down payment of P28,000 is to be paid in six equal installments and the monthly installments ranges from P3,000 to P9,000.

Jaime I. Hernandez, president of Homeowners Development Corp, said it was his first time at the Filipino Exhibition. “About 14 Filipino expatriates came to book for housing packages, which we offered without paying interest for one year and with just 20 per cent down payment. We have housing projects in choice locations in Metro Manila,” his wife Eva said.

Filipino expatriates from Mindanao, south of Manila, had realtors from their provinces come with some 70 ready-to-be-occupied housing units at a reservation fee of P20,000 deductable from the overall cost.

Amy Deocampo, marketing head of the Taiwanese developer, Shie Jie Corp said that their package of three-bedroom residences costs only P1 million.

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