Do You Own a Piece of Land When You Buy a Condominium Unit?

condo land ownership

Owning a condominium in the Philippines could be one of the smartest ways to invest nowadays. It’s one of the best ways to own a real estate property in the country with the congested setup of houses and lots in Metro Manila. We all know that the price of properties depends entirely on the location where the property stands. Does it have a good amount of foot traffic? Is the location economically developed? What are the nearby transportation hubs and places of convergence that will interest people into condo land ownership? All of these factors contribute to the marketability of a project may it be a condominium or house and lot project. The important thing to understand is that the normal title and setup of purchasing a condominium unit is different from the usual house and lot purchase. In saying this, you might ask yourselves as condo unit owners, do you own a piece of land when you buy a condominium unit?

Condominiums… Are They a Good Investment?

For the people who are planning to buy and own a condominium in the Philippines, even when the project is pre-selling or is ready for occupancy, they always think about the value of the property and its appreciation over time. This is because unlike owning a plot of land, the condominium unit can only last up to when there is substantial damage to the tower and has not been rebuilt for three years. Another point to qualify is that if at least one-half of the condo units are not livable anymore and more than thirty percent (30%) of the unit owners want to stop its restoration. Also, if the government has deemed the condominium project not habitable and more than seventy percent (70%) are opposed to its continuation, the condominium project, with the declaration of its condominium corporation, can sell the property as long as the majority of the unit owners agreed upon doing so.

So, how is condo land ownership helping investors and unit owners to be more ready and financially stable with our current economy? Even with the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its effect on the global economy, the projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country still remains within the government’s target of 7 to 9 percent and is still the fastest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This means that for investors and possible prospects of the real estate market, the best way to take care of your finances is to invest them in a tangible product like real estate properties. Properties like real estate is still one of the smartest ways to invest your hard-earned money without having too much of a risk like when you are investing in a stock market or even forex trading. There are new ways too that have been introduced when the dawn of gaming and streaming went viral, but like the others, they still pose more risks than investing in real estate properties. This is because the appreciation (the increase in value of the property over time) of these properties will be certain as time goes by. The rate of appreciation even doubles for owning a condominium in the Philippines versus house and lots depending on their location and the growth of its local economy. The convenience of being near to the places people need and are interested in will definitely make the property gain such high appreciation values, and will, in turn, provide you earnings, in the sense that the value you bought your property with will be much higher when you choose to sell it in the future.

What Are the Differences in Ownership Between Traditional and Condominium Properties?

For as long as we can remember, it has been our family’s goal to be able to purchase our own property. This dream has been passed along in the family as one of the most important assets you can have, and one of the bases of success in our society that, in a way, ensures your family’s future. As part of the aspirations of the common Filipino family, having your own home (or property) gives you a lot of options to plan your future, or at least manage your finances without having too much to pay on rent every month. This is the reason why we need to know the differences of the types of ownership one can have in our country, may it be house and lots, or condo land ownership. In the next paragraphs, you will learn the importance of knowing the details of your ownership (as well as the differences of both traditional and condo) and if the condominium property you own (or will buy) entitles you to the ownership of the land the project is built on.

National and Foreign Ownership

One of the most significant differences in real estate property ownership is the ownership type of the foreigners in our country. For the house and lot type, people with foreign nationalities are prohibited to purchase land and name it under them, unless of course if it’s through hereditary succession or acquired under the 1935 constitution. This may also be different for situations like when a Filipino citizen marries a foreigner or if a Filipino citizen renounces their citizenship and swear allegiance with their spouse’s country. For condominium ownership, however, foreign citizens may be able to purchase properties as long as the majority of the ownership of the whole condominium project is dominated by Filipino nationals. Total ownership of the foreigners is limited to 40% of the total land and floor area of the property and all of its commercial sections. The reason for this is that the management of these condominium projects should be under the control of our fellowmen, and all of its rules and restrictions. If you are a foreign citizen looking to buy properties in the Philippines either for investment or end-use, you might want to check the offerings of Vista Residences (

The Titles of the Land

When buying a property from a developer, you are required to submit documents and requirements for what they call the holding and booking of your account in their systems. The reason for this is so that they can create a contract to sell and also produce a contract that transfers ownership of the property from them to the buyer’s name. Unlike the purchase of other things, that only requires a receipt to prove ownership and that the sale has taken place, real estate properties has to be registered under certain government entities so there is proof and right of the sale. The sale of a real estate property is also subject to tax unique to this type of sale. Also, working with a registered real estate practitioner is suggested to process the sale so nothing can be missed.

There are two types of title that is given to owners of real estate property in the Philippines. Both these titles show the legal ownership of a person or entity to a property or asset and is commonly shown as a legal document or certificate. This might also show the property rights of an individual or corporation depending on the property type and all of its legal ramifications. For all buyers of real estate properties, understanding the difference between the titles will ensure a successful and convenient transaction.

A. Transfer Certificate of Title

The Transfer Certificate of Title is the legal document provided to buyers of House and/or Lots in our country and can also be a title given to a piece of land with or without a physical structure built on it. This is provided to us by certain government offices depending on who holds the title to it like the Registry of Deeds (RD), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), or the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). All titles, regardless of which department of the government it came from, should still be registered in the Registry of Deeds, especially for residential lots. Real estate developers will help you with all of these including all registrations and tax payments for all of their properties so what is suggested is to purchase properties directly from trusted developers like Bria Homes, Inc.

B. Condominium Certificate of Title

The condominium certificate of title, like the transfer certificate of title, is a document that proves ownership of the unit an individual has purchased from a developer. The proof of purchase of the unit in the condominium property will also be proved by what’s called the contract to sell. It is very important for an owner to understand what this title states and what is the scope of it, as well as understanding the extent of the rights of the owner. When you own a unit inside a condominium project, it might be confusing what are the coverages and limitations of your property. So, here are a few terms that might help you understand the condominium certificate of title more.

1. Condominium Project

The totality of the site (land), condominium towers, condominium units, and all common areas. The boundaries of the project may sometimes be seen by reviewing the developer’s site development plan (SDP). This will show the map of the land and its orientation.

2. Condominium Tower 

Certain condominium projects have multiple towers. These towers are still part of the whole condominium project but will be divided into different towers. Still, the governing body for some developers will still be one and the significance of this detail will affect the understanding of your ownership as a condominium unit owner.

3. Condominium Unit 

The condominium unit is defined as the floor area of the unit a client will buy and is sometimes called as the absolute ownership. This space is encompassed by the interior surface of the floor, ceiling, and exterior doors and windows. This is called as the absolute ownership of the buyer as this is what the condominium certificate of title will be showing as the property of the buyer.

Read Also: Types of Condominium Units in the Philippines

So, How About the Common Areas of the Condominium… Do I Own It as Well?

The common areas of the condominium project or the towers in it will be the property of all the unit owners in the condominium project. The unit owners can’t design or upgrade these types of spaces inside the condominium though. All of the spaces that are considered a common area are managed by the condominium corporation which acts like the homeowner’s association in a subdivision. They are a group of people voted by all unit owners to be the management body of the condominium community. The condominium corporation may also require all unit owners to provide their monthly association fee to maintain the operation of the condominium and all of its amenities used by all the unit owners. In conclusion, the property owned by a person who bought a condominium unit will be the unit itself and its floor area, as well as the shared ownership of all of the common areas, including the amenities, hallways, elevators, fire exits, lobbies, etc. When the whole condominium project is sold with the approval of the condominium corporation and all of its unit owners, the division of finances from its sale will be divided equally depending on the floor area that an individual has ownership in.

You can read more information about the coverages of your rights as a condominium unit owner in the following Philippine laws below:

Republic 4726 – The Condominium Act

An Act that defines the coverages and restrictions as well as provide guidelines to a condominium project, its ownership, and safety standards.

Presidential Decree 957 – The Subdivision and Condominium Buyer’s Protective Decree

A decree to protect the buyers of condominium projects and subdivision developments against misrepresentations and fraudulent activities of developers, sellers, and operators.

Republic Act 6552 – The Maceda Law

An act to provide protection to buyers of real estate properties on installment payments.

Bria Homes, Inc. is dedicated to helping you in your journey to purchasing quality real estate properties. To know more about their affordable and quality projects, visit their website at here.

Written by Gene Llanes