The Most Popular House Designs in the Philippines

September 04, 2017

Know which are the most popular house designs in the Philippines to help choose your next property.

Tumultuous as its current political landscape may be, and despite a presently struggling foreign exchange rate, the Philippines continues to have one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia. It reportedly increased by 6.5 percent in the second quarter of 2017, resulting in improved spending power for many Filipinos, including property buyers or investors looking to build their homes from the ground up.

Like in most other countries, house design in the Philippines reflects its history and culture, as well as the aforementioned financial advances experienced by Filipinos. A key contributor to the economy, the local real estate market is one of the most competitive in Asia. Housing here is relatively low priced, making it fairly easy to find a home suited for almost any lifestyle and budget, or choosing to build a completely new home with one of the following popular designs.



Commonly known in the West as terraced houses or row houses, the townhouses are often inaccurately referred to as row houses or door apartments here in the Philippines. Townhouses are common in urban areas because it requires relatively smaller lot areas (per unit) compared to traditional houses and lots, making it the most viable option for property-seekers with budgets that are not enough for large properties but would prefer to not live in a condominium unit.

Along with being more economical, townhouses are also popular rental properties, with many starting families often opting to buy or lease townhouses before moving into larger properties later on. The livability of townhouses have been furthered by their commonly prominently featured in subdivisions with central locations and featuring a myriad of amenities.



The term “minimalism” was coined for home design during the late 1960s, and was mainly used to describe architecture that uses natural and pared-down design elements highlighted by simple silhouettes and lines. Minimalist homes have gained popularity over the years in the Philippines, likely due to how it fuses perfectly with our traditional architecture with its color palette of earthy tones like rich browns, ecru, and brassy colors.

In addition to this, minimalism is also literal in nature, as the style also aims to make the most of limited space, addressing typical residential problems like clutter and having to make due with smaller-than-average spaces like that in costly and densely populated areas like Metro Manila.



“Bungalow” comes from a Bengali term that roughly translates to “house in the Bengal style.” This is characterized by the absence of a second floor, or it being built into a sloping roof in that the home looks like it has one-and-a-half floors. Quite common in gated communities in the Philippines, many old houses in Makati’s famed exclusive villages were built as such, and are often referred to as sprawling bungalows because of their size.

Bungalows are popular among retirees and persons with disabilities as the home’s low design and all living areas being all in one area make it easy to move around in. The payak, or simple, lifestyle embodied by bungalows, and often associated with the traditional bahay kubo, is one that indeed speaks to most Filipinos.



Heavily influenced by the region from which the home design was named after, Mediterranean-style home designs have gained popularity over the years in upmarket resorts and beach-side properties. It has also been getting quite popular with homebuilders and architects because of the refreshing vibe this house design exudes especially if it is built in the middle of a busy city.

Mediterranean-style houses are commonly characterized by wrought-iron balconies, terracotta exteriors, heavy wooden doors, tegola stone roofs, and colorful tiles as accents. While the style is common in some of the most upscale neighborhoods in the Philippines, it allows for each property to be unique in its own right as it is hardly a cookie-cutter type house design. 


Country Style

Country-style homes evoke an understated charm reminiscent of cottage-style houses in Old America, which in turn were influenced by 18th-century European colonists. It has since been deeply ingrained in American architecture, and is now a classic template for homes in the United States.

In the Philippines, country themes in cafés, coffee shops, and other commercial spaces recently become popular. Homebuilders have not been far behind, favoring the design and incorporating shabby chic or vintage elements into the overall style of the property. Some homeowners, on the other hand, have taken to the country-style as it allows it to further their inclination for antiques and rustic furnishings.


Mid-Century Modern

Although a contrast to the country style, the mid-century modern design is another concept Filipinos adopted from American architecture. This design flourished from the 1940s, which was an era when two new materials utilized in this type of house design were introduced: steel and plywood.

Marked by simplistic and symmetrical patterns (though it should not to be confused with minimalism), mid-century modern design is marked by open spaces, huge glass windows, and the flawless incorporation of nature. The design, like the Mediterranean-style homes, has seen a notable increase in popularity in posh subdivisions and upscale gated communities, especially in newly developed communities outside Metro Manila.


This article was contributed by Lamudi Philippines

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