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The PH office market is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels

According to Leechiu Property Consultants, demand for office space will be closer to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021, with 330,000 square meters (sqm) of living needs anticipated to be completed (LPC).

With the signing of this pipeline of deals with developers, LPC director Mikko Barranda said office take-up may reach 500,000 to 600,000 sqm by year’s end, according to a virtual press conference held Tuesday.

“Last year, the number was 380,000 (sqm), so we are looking to almost double that assuming things continue at the same pace,” he said. “We are confident, however, given that the economy is now opening much more and we have been seeing more vaccines come in, (and) that confidence will just increase as the months go by,” he added.

With 190,000 sqm, or 58 percent of the life needs, the information technology, and business process management (IT-BPM) sector continues to dominate the demand for office space, according to Barranda.

Traditional businesses like e-commerce and shipping increased by 37 percent during the pandemic, while Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) companies are looking for 17,000 square meters or 5%, he said.

He added, “We are witnessing some POGOs inquiries, (they are) aggressively seeking us for office space…” “We expect a return from the POGO sector with Senate Bill 2232 and the reopening of Philippine borders.”

Senate Bill 2232 is a bill that would impose a tax on POGOs.

The substantial increase in office demand, according to Barranda, is a clear indication of recovery.

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