Metro Manila’s office market is making a record growth if the high occupancy rates are any indication.
This was revealed by JLL Regional Director and Head of Project Leasing Sheila Lobien, who says the high demand for office space from last year has caused land and property values, as well as rental rates, to peak.
More than that, it speaks of a healthy property market that has been given life by the millions of investments landing in the country.
According to Lobien, the main driver of the office market is still the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry which accounts for 80 to 90 percent of office demand.
BPOs accounted for 600,000 sq.m. in office space, up from 500,000 sq.m. in 2016. Also credited for the surge in office space rentals are Chinese investors who are coming in droves to put their money into the online gaming industry.
Leading the race for most coveted office areas is Makati, followed by Bonifacio Global City whose main selling point is the good work-play area. The Bay Area is becoming the go-to site for gaming investors while Alabang has become a preference due to the improved road infrastructure to and from the area.
Quezon City, on the other hand, is enjoying the biggest BPO population owing to its large number of residential areas and universities. Townships are also booming in Quezon City – where pocket spaces, retail, mall, and schools are being built on one site to ease the population’s everyday commute.
With the influx of investments in need of office spaces comes the creation of more job opportunities for Filipinos who have been lauded in many parts of the globe. According to Lobien, the Philippine population is very young, very skilled and proficient in the English language. Labor costs are also very affordable.
Lobien says that talent is never lacking in the Filipino, even in Metro Manila’s outskirts like Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Clark in Pampanga which are being eyed intensively by investors who are looking to expand their operations outside the metropolis.
Lobien explains that aside from the impressive skills of locals, cheaper labor cost, as well as lower rental rates, have been the main drivers for businesses to set up site in Metro Manila’s outlying areas. Lobien takes special note of Clark which has seen the rise of many industrial sites, office buildings, hotels, and residential developments owing to its accessibility via land, air and sea.
She further shared that Cebu has what it takes also to become the next powerhouse in terms of location for the BPO industry. Lobien observed that the infrastructure slated by the current administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program will further make the country even more competitive as global BPO destination.
“The railway planned from Tutuban going northwards will definitely make the Bulacan-Clark-Subic corridor in the North a natural BPO destination. Cebu, owing to its large English-speaking local population, the presence of an enhanced international airport and seaports and the planned infrastructure to connect it with the other islands in the Visayas will definitely become a hotter destination for BPO locators,” Lobien said.
Whatever the demand, JLL is the best company to fulfill it. As a Fortune 500 company whose width and depth of expertise in property consulting in the Philippines goes back 20 years, JLL makes sure real estate investors and developers get the best possible returns.
This means filling up a building at the fastest time possible- and with the best tenant mix. Using their time-tested research capabilities and their market expertise, JLL advises investors on the “must-haves” of a building - with the goal of landing the most reputable tenants who will pay optimal rents for a very long period of time.
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