With more firms optimistic on a post-coronavirus economic recovery, the Philippine office market continued registering new demand in the first quarter of 2021 and is growing despite the pandemic.
Office demand reached 109,000 square meters (sqm) in the January to March period, up by 22.5 percent from 89,000 sqm in the fourth quarter 2020, Mikko Barranda, associate director at Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC), said.
There was a renewed interest in the office market, activity spur(s) up and we are doing deals with tenants today (with) either new leases and renewals for as long as five years. It’s a testament to the commitment of many of these investors in the Philippines and that they believe that the recovery is just around the corner,” he said.
Barranda said the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law and coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine rollout are expected to improve investor sentiments in the next few months.
He said the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) remains the single largest driver of office demand in the first quarter as the Philippine offshore gaming operators’ activity (POGOs) flatlined due to the pandemic, China’s clampdown, as well as high taxes being imposed on the industry.