Office space demand more than doubled in the second quarter to 255,000 square meters from 124,000 sq. m. in the first quarter on strong take-up from the business process outsourcing sector, Leechiu Property Consultants said Wednesday.
LPC director for commercial leasing Mikko Barranda said leasing transactions reached 379,000 sq. m. in the frist six months, representing 70 percent of 2021’s full year take-up.
Barranda said with 212,000 sq. m. of office requirements expected to be finalized in the second half, the 2022 office space demand would likely hit pre-pandemic levels.
He said the demand for office space in the second quarter came from IT-business process management firms, which accounted for 107,000 sq. m.
Philippine offshore gaming operators took up 21,000 sq. m., marking the first sign of leasing activity from the sector since March 2020.
“All the leasing activity in the past three months―from many new captives and companies doing business here for the first time―tell us outsourcing to the Philippines continues to be a reliable solution for companies in the West fighting impending global recession,” Barranda said.
Data showed that BPO workforce grew by 15 percent between 2019 and 2021 despite the pandemic.
BPO firms, at the height of the pandemic in 2021, hired some 120,000 full time employees even as many of them adopted hybrid worth set-up arrangement, where a portion of employees worked in the office and others worked from home.
LPC said that in the residential market, condominium sales jumped 54 percent in the second quarter from the previous quarter as developers offered extended and flexible payment terms and investors purchased residential units to lock in current prices.
LPC director Roy Golez said, however, that sales to lower-income market declined by 89 percent, as buyers prioritized purchasing necessities over the security of owning a home.
New launches slowed down by 78 percent amid rising interest rates, inflation and construction materials procurement issues due to lockdowns in source countries.
Golez said this scenario might affect the lower middle residential condominium segment and the middle-income market.
Golez said LPC expects residential sales to overseas Filipino market to increase on the strengthening of the dollar against the peso.
LPC said lot prices in Southern Mega Manila steadily grew by 7 percent to 15 percent annually. Among the biggest gainers were properties at Rockwell South which launched in 2019 at P35,000/sq. m. and shot up by 52 percent to P53,1000 per sq. m. recently.