Manila among Asia’s least affordable cities for buying, renting property

UK-based Online Mortgage Advisor ( has recently published research comparing the average prices of one square meter of an apartment in the city center of Manila, Philippines, to the average annual salary in 2016 and 2020.

That research shows Manila to be the second least affordable city to buy property in Asia, worse than property hotspots such as Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Taipei in Taiwan, and Seoul in South Korea.

In 2020, workers with an average annual salary in Manila could afford 2.76 fewer meters of housing space than in 2016, meaning the city has become one of the least affordable cities for average citizens to purchase property, as shown in the rankings below: 

1Mashhad, Iran   4.61.8-2.83
2Manila, Philippines 4.21.5-2.76
3Tehran, Iran31-2.01
4Vadodara, India 8.56.7-1.87
5Pune, India 5.43.6-1.81
6Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 20.819.4-1.42
7Hyderabad, India6.65.3-1.24
8Taipei, Taiwan2.81.6-1.2
9Krasnodar, Russia5.64.6-1
10Seoul, South Korea2.51.6-0.99

In the same research, it has also been shown that Manila has become 64% less affordable for renters since 2016.

Manila’s average monthly net salary was compared to the average rental cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center to calculate its change in affordability between 2016 and 2020.

Looking at the difference in % of average salary needed to be spent on rent in Manila between 2016 and 2020, Online Mortgage Advisor (OMA) revealed that Manila has become 64% less affordable for renters since 2016.

This makes Manila the third worst city for renting affordability in Asia, only beaten by Iranian cities Tehran and Mashhad.

In 2016, the average rental price of a property in Manila equated to 90% of an average local’s monthly salary. This jumped to a staggering 154% in 2020.

1Tehran, Iran114%    209%95%
2Mashhad, Iran70%         144% 74%
3Manila, Philippines90%154%   64%
4Colombo, Sri Lanka115%  177%     62%
5Lahore, Pakistan 39%  69%  31%
6Mumbai, India   70%93% 23%
7Bangkok, Thailand   76%97%22%
8Vadodara, India      22%40%18%
9 Jaipur, India        23%38%   16%
10Ahmedabad, India  34% 50%16%

The changing cost of purchasing in cities in Asia is according to Numbeo’s latest raw figures on city affordability. OMA considers the following metrics: Apartment price (one-bedroom) in a city center; average monthly net salary (after tax); price per square feet to buy an apartment in a city center, and the average salary of local workers.

Mortgage rates were sourced from assuming a mortgage length of 30 years. A 20% down payment was assumed in order to not include private mortgage insurance.

More information about this research can be seen in this link:

OMA is a free mortgage broker matching service that matches people with someone specifically based upon their circumstances. The site is an emporium of information about mortgages and related products, from bridging finance to secured loans. OMA was started in 2013 by mortgage expert Pete Mugleston and marketing guru David Bird. To date, over 120,000 customers have since used OMA to achieve their goals in the property market.