Office space is continuously growing within the country. Despite the slowdown on growth within the BPO sector, businesses, both local and foreign, are still optimistic to start their operations within the Philippines. When it comes to land area, the Philippines has more offer in the coming years as more areas in the Philippines are being opened to the BPO sector.
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The Philippines is known as one of the hotspots for local and foreign businesses to venture in in spite of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors’ slow growth, which started two years ago. Despite the growth in demand, the office leasing sector is doing its best to offer more spaces. So far, there are new buildings newly unveiled and being constructed, which are solely for the BPO sector to lease in.
However, looking into the future, a huge question poses: Is the Philippines running out of office space? Taking things into perspective, property market veteran David Leechiu, who is the head of leading local property consulting firm Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC), said the office spaces available for lease may run out as early as 2021. Mr. Leechiu said the main drivers for this is the continuous demand of local and foreign businesses.
For this year alone, Mr. Leechiu estimated the office space take-up in the Philippines could reach new heights, with 1.5 million square meters (sq m) from 950,000 sq m in 2017. But, take note he included the pre-commitment transactions on buildings that were about to be built during that time.
Mr. Leechiu also mentioned China, saying things are changing as the economic giant and the country are having warmer diplomatic relations. He explained that this change will support a boom in the real estate sector the next 20 years.
“China has ignored us in the last 40 years and that’s changing,” he said.
“Two and a half years ago, we told developers to stop developing. We’re now telling them to start developing. We didn’t call this [projected 2021] deficit until we were comfortable with the demand.”
Manila is not the only place being opened for businesses to venture into. Other parts of the country, even in Visayas and Mindanao are now having economic zones available for the BPO sector to start their operations in. More areas within the country are opening as the demand rises. For 2018 alone, the demand for office space reached 1.16 million sqms compared to 2017’s 910,000 sqms.