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The Evolution of Houses and Real Estate in the Philippines

October 24th, 2023 | Share via:

A quick walkthrough of the evolution of houses and real estate.

The evolution of real estate properties in the Philippine economy has been a significant factor in the country's growth and development. Over the years, real estate properties has undergone various transformations, from traditional property buying and selling to the emergence of mixed-use developments, condominiums, and eco-friendly communities. These advancements have provided new opportunities for both local and foreign investors, contributing to a robust and dynamic real estate market.

Land Ownerships

In the early years, real estate in the Philippines primarily revolved around agriculture and land ownership. Large haciendas were prevalent, and vast tracts of land were centralized in the hands of a few wealthy families. However, with the passing of agrarian reform laws around the 1950s and 1960s, land ownership became more distributed among farmers and agricultural workers. This shift led to the development of small-scale farming, which contributed to the rise of rural communities. 

What the real estate was like in the 2000s

The real estate market in the early 2000s was marked by significant growth and demand across several regions as the years went by. There were lower mortgage rates, more ease when it comes to obtaining loans, and the difference of the economy compared today contributed to a boom in the housing industry. People were flocking to buy homes, and property values were skyrocketing. The trend of purchasing second homes and real estate investments also gained popularity during this time, as individuals sought to capitalize on the rising home prices. However, this period of prosperity was short-lived, as the market witnessed a dramatic shift towards the end of the decade, leading to the infamous housing bubble burst and subsequent global financial crisis in 2008.

As property values continued to rise, real estate developers took advantage of the market conditions by constructing numerous new housing complexes. Suburban areas witnessed substantial growth, with an increased focus on building larger homes, gated communities, and luxury condos. In metropolitan areas, high-rise condominiums started to become prevalent, attracting urban dwellers with the promise of modern amenities and convenience. The real estate market and its evolution was an immense activity, but it ultimately set the stage for a tumultuous and challenging period in the years immediately following.

Then vs. Now: The Evolution of Houses in the Philippines

From indigenous tribal dwellings to modern-day concrete structures, Filipino houses have evolved over time to adapt to changing societal needs and technological advancements.

Bahay Kubo 

Bahay Kubo, also known as “Nipa Hut,” is a traditional house in the Philippines that showcases the country's rich cultural heritage. This iconic structure can be found in rural areas, serving as a functional and practical dwelling. The Bahay Kubo is made of lightweight materials such as bamboo, wood, and nipa palm leaves. It is designed to withstand the tropical climate of the Philippines, providing natural ventilation. With its high-pitched roof and elevated floor, this architectural masterpiece has become a symbol of Filipino identity and ingenuity.

Bahay Na Bato (Stone House)

Dating back to the Spanish colonial era, this style of house is considered a Filipino adaptation of the Spanish colonial architecture. Bahay na Bato is characterized by its combination of indigenous Filipino and Spanish influences, resulting in a unique and distinct architectural design.

The Bahay na Bato is typically made of stone or brick walls with large and sturdy wooden beams. It features prominent overhangs, large windows, and sliding Capiz shell windows. One of the most distinct features of this architectural style is the elevated second floor, which is often used as living quarters, while the ground floor is dedicated to storage or serving as a workshop. The Bahay na Bato showcases the craftsmanship of Filipino artisans, with intricate carvings and designs seen in the wooden posts, windows, and doors. It represents the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines and serves as a testament to the resourcefulness and adaptability of Filipinos in blending various architectural influences into a style uniquely their own.

Let us now discuss the modern structure of houses or house and lots in the Philippines.  


Bungalow houses in the Philippines are a popular and iconic style of residential architecture, which is now a common house structure here in the Philippines. These one-story homes are characterized by their simple, functional design that is well-suited for the typical Filipino family. Bungalow houses also often feature a wide, covered porch that serves as an outdoor living space, perfect for afternoon siestas, planting a garden, or taking care of pets at home. The timeless design of bungalow houses make this house and real estate evolution a beloved and enduring architectural style in the Philippines.

High-rise Condominiums 

Condominiums in the Philippines have come a long way, evolving from simple apartment-style living to high-rise luxury developments. The concept of condominiums was introduced to the country foreign investors who recognized the potential of vertical housing solutions. Initially, condos were primarily seen as affordable options for young professionals and starting families looking for convenient city living. Over time, condominiums as a residential real estate property grew due to factors such as rising land prices and the need for sustainable urban development. This led to the construction of more luxurious and amenity-packed condominium projects aimed at attracting a wider range of buyers, including affluent individuals and overseas Filipino workers seeking investment opportunities. Today, condominium living is not only a practical choice but also a status symbol and an expression of modern urban lifestyle in the Philippines. 

Leading Real Estate Development in the Philippines 

Camella is a reputable real estate developer known for its extensive portfolio of houses and condominiums in the Philippines in various locations and communities across the country. Offering affordable yet quality homes, Camella continues to cater to the housing needs of Filipino families. In terms of houses, they have an array of designs and sizes to suit different preferences and budgets. From spacious Italian-Mediterranean houses for families and OFWs, to the contemporary aesthetics of condominiums for young professionals and beginner investors, Camella offers varying real estate options for every kind of Filipino. 

If you are interested with investing on a real estate property and for home buying options here in the Philippines, you can check out bungalow houses, two-storey family homes, condominium properties, and more with Camella!