Dubai:  A growing number of Filipino expatriates in the UAE are attracted to the idea of investing their hard-earned money in real estate.

Many of them believe that acquiring a piece of property in their own country is a sound investment option, given the sizeable rental yields landlords are seeing back home.

According to data released by Jones Lang LaSalle and Colliers International, residential property prices in Manila alone, the Philippine’s capital, registered the highest growth in prices within the Asia-Pacific region during the last three months of 2014.

In a new survey among Filipinos in the UAE, nearly eight in ten said they intend to acquire either a house and lot in a gated community, a piece of land in the suburbs or a flat in the city centre within the next two years.

The number of people expressing their appetite for property investing has gone up from 43 per cent in 2014, according to the survey commissioned by the Philippine Property and Investment Exhibition (PPIE).

Filipinos in the UAE are among the fast-growing expatriate communities in the country and contributing largely to global remittances sent to the Philippines. As of 2013, around 11 million Filipinos abroad transferred some $26 billion to their home country.

Anna Tatlonghari, general manager at Ayala Land International Sales, said that the rise in monthly incomes of Filipinos abroad has fuelled consumption growth and investment boom in the Philippines.

“The income created by overseas Filipinos has allowed millions of families to spend more and live better lives,” she said.

“This has contributed directly to the country’s gross domestic product, 70 per cent of which is accounted for by consumption, and remittances are estimated to comprise nearly 10 per cent of the country’s GDP – one of the highest contribution rates in the world.”

“Investing in Philippine property today is ideal for Filipino and international investors as prices are likely to soar substantially in the coming years,” added Karen Remo, manging director of New Perspective Media, which conducted the survey among 1,000 respondents in the UAE.

“Our survey confirms a substantial increase in investment appetite and this is in response to positive forecasts of good investment returns in the Philippines, which is one of Asia’s most steady economies.”