WORKING FROM HOME is shaping the property-buying decisions of Filipinos, according to online real estate platform Ohmyhome.

“Balconies in condominiums and gardens in house and lots are popular right now, as are smart homes or areas with fast internet connectivity,” said Julian Carlo Y. Sison, Ohmyhome’s marketing manager, at a recent webinar.

Interest in house and lots increased across the board, particularly outside Metro Manila.

“In the past, overseas Filipino buyers would invest in condominium units,” said Cielo A. Dumlao, Ohmyhome’s account manager. “This pandemic, most of our inquiries from them are of house and lots.”

The continued preference for house and lots, Mr. Sison said, will depend on future work-from-home (WFH) setups. “If a lot of companies continue to allow their employees to WFH, then we can see this interest in house and lots holding true even post-pandemic,” he said.

In addition, 62% of Filipino buyers on Ohmyhome are looking for properties that are less than P10 million, with 40% of the inquiries being for properties in the P1-5 million range. Additionally, 33% of the inquiries are for projects that offer stretched financing price schemes for up to 60 months to pay.

Makati City is the top area of interest among property seekers, with condominiums under P10 million getting the most inquiries. “Buyers are taking advantage of friendlier payment terms and buyer’s market conditions,” said Mr. Sison.

While the financial hub is the most desirable zip code, more than half of buyers (56%) are considering places outside Metro Manila. Interest is gaining traction in southern provinces such as Cavite and Batangas, as well as northern areas such as Pampanga, Subic, and San Juan. Improvements in CALAX (Cavite-Laguna Expressway), CAVITEX (Manila-Cavite Expressway), and SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) — together with developments in the Pampanga metropolis like the Clark International Airport — have spurred this trend.

On the platform, the top five properties according to buyer interest are SMDC Mint Residences in Makati, Avida Cloverleaf Tower 2 in Quezon City, Lumina San Juan in La Union, Bria Lipa in Batangas, and Suntrust Verona in Cavite. All properties offer units within the P550,000 to 10 million peso range.

Ohmyhome offers pre-selling, ready-for-occupancy, and resale properties to buy, sell, or rent in both its application and website. Individual homeowners can list their properties for free in its do-it-yourself platform, which has more than 1,300 listings.

There are an additional 40,000 units listed from developer-partners such as Vistaland International Marketing, Inc., Suntrust Properties, Avida Land, Honeycomb Builders, Inc., SM Development Corporation, and Bria Homes. The real estate platform also operates in Singapore and Malaysia. — Patricia B. Mirasol