Manufacturing, logistics sectors drive industrial property growth

The manufacturing and logistics sectors are driving the industrial commercial property market in Metro Manila as of the second half of 2023, signaling thriving economic prospects for the Philippines. 

According to real estate services firm KMC Savills, manufacturing firms account for 41 percent of the demand for industrial warehouse spaces in this period. Third-Party Logistics (3PL) and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) firms also contribute greatly to this demand at 22 percent and 21 percent respectively. 

E-commerce (seven percent) and cold storage firms (five percent) also dominate the facilities. 

Notably, KMC Savills highlighted the Filinvest New Clark City Innovation Park that will soon rise in Tarlac as a milestone in developing industrial zones in Northern Luzon. 

Majority of PEZA-registered warehouses are located in Cavite, but Calamba also houses 54 percent of Laguna's storage facilities with 64 percent the space leased to date. 

In their recent report, the firm said “significant infrastructure initiatives are underway to enhance connectivity and accessibility to key provincial industrial centers.” 

These include air travel, expressway infrastructure, railway, and port transport gateways to connect the industrial centers. 

“These efforts aim to support the seamless flow of goods and services, ensuring that industrial hubs are well-integrated into the broader transportation network, thereby fostering economic growth and efficiency,” it added.

Built-to-suit warehouses occupy 67.3 percent of the total stock of the local market, used mainly as regional Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) distribution centers and cold storage facilities. However, “major firms are observed to increase their specialized ready-built footprint in the next three years,” it said. 

Despite these developments, empty warehouses remain, which have increased vacancies and deflated rental rates, particularly in Bulacan (by 42 percent), and Pampanga (by 21 percent). Warehouse rents in the Southern Tagalog Region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas) range from P250 to P300. The age of the building, quality of construction, and the location of the warehouses affect the rental rates, noted the firm.