Demand for office space jumped 38 percent in the second quarter to 169,000 square meters from 122,000 sq. m. in the first quarter, Leechiu Property Consultants said in a report over the weekend.
LPC chief executive David Leechiu said the office demand in the second quarter was the highest since the start of the pandemic, which signaled the office sector was ready to take off and resume its pre-pandemic growth trajectory.
Data showed office space demand reached 291,000 sq. m. in the first half, representing 75 percent of demand for the entire 2020.
“There is no doubt that the Philippines is back on the radar of global occupiers,” Leechiu said.
The business process outsourcing industry accounted for 92,000 sq. m. or 54 percent of office demand in the second quarter, up by 160 percent from 35,000 sq. m. the sector took up in the first quarter.
“Even if they were relatively quiet in 2020, BPOs are back. The same fundamentals that attracted BPOs to the Philippines during the financial crisis of 2008 are once again working for us,” Leechiu said.
LPC said investor sentiment improved with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the passage of Senate Bill 2232 which clarified tax concerns of Philippine Online Gaming Operators.
Several POGOs left the country in 2020 not only because of the pandemic but because of the stringent tax rules imposed by the government against these companies. With the reopening of international borders, LPC expects online gaming operators to slowly return to the domestic market, which could further boost the domestic office sector.
“All these events have aligned to support the Philippine office market. Its resurgence this quarter is a strong and clear indicator of recovery,” LPC said.
LPC earlier said there were active office requirements for 266,000 sq. m. from various companies.