Office demand higher than expected - study

Philippine office demand has surged in the last quarter of the year registering year to date at 539,000 square meters (sqm), already 38 percent higher than the full-year 2020 figure of 389,000sqm.

Supported by strong fundamentals, take-up at year-end will surpass projections despite the peaks and dips in demand that characterized the 2021 office arena, according to the latest study by Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC).

Office demand levels driven by sustained take-ups from IT-Business Process Management (ITBPM) firms would have been higher had it not been for mobility issues brought about by the 3Q lockdowns. “Even at the height of the pandemic in 2020, IT-BPMs took up space. We foresee that they will remain a catalyst of the office segment for as long as outsourcing remains a viable solution for recovering firms in the West,” said LPC CEO David Leechiu.

(File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

The study projected that in 4Q 2021, IT-BPMs will take up at least 54k sqm. of office space. It also projected that total 2021 demand from this category by year-end would register at 229k sqm. “We are pleased to be seeing new brands from among the captives looking to offshore and outsource to the country,” said Leechiu.

Other than BPOs, online retail companies or e-commerce will continue to drive growth and expand both office and industrial requirements.

The study also noted surging demand for industrial and warehousing to meet logistics requirements. In all likelihood, most companies will slowly ease back to the business districts while maintaining a portion of their operations on a Work-From-Home basis, said the study. This will give rise to hybrid operations.