It’s a well-known fact that the Philippines’ army of overseas workers plays a vital role in the economy back home. Cashed-up expats are now helping a property boom, rescuing the sector from a 2-year downturn by spending 300 billion pesos (US$6.9 billion) this year, tripling the 100 billion each of 2008 and 2009.

Disheartened by the low local wages on offer, As many as 9 million, or 10% of the Philippines population, have emigrated to places where even low-skilled jobs are comparatively well paid. More recently, Filipinos have moves into higher-skilled, even higher-paid jobs such as medicine and engineering.

Many overseas workers still have family back home in the Philippines, so houses provide a solid investment while taking care of loved ones. The typical property purchased by an expat costs around 2 million pesos ($45,000), easily affordable for those on foreign salaries but out of reach for the average local Filipino. Foreign influence has also seen a change in tastes, with new purchasers favoring apartments and condos over houses, in more compact spaces with a distinctly more Western or even Mediterranean architectural style.

source & article: Channel NewsAsia