Office market sees hope from IT-BPM interest

The country’s office market is seeing signs of hope as Information Technology- Business Process Management (IT-BPM) firms are showing interest for further expansion in the country.

Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) said inquiries, requests for meetings and site inspections have been coming from IT-BPM locators since the fourth quarter of 2020, indicating the continued expansion of the office sector in the Philippines and its possible recovery in the coming months.

“The announcement of forthcoming vaccines has given everyone a fresh boost of hope. We’re seeing faster decision making among IIT-BPM firms as they lay out plans for expansion not only in Metro Manila but also in the provinces,” LPC associate director Mikko Barranda said.

“It’s an exciting time and we project that many of these negotiations are being finalized now or will be closed in the coming months,” he added.

Barranda said current negotiations for space now also cover Iloilo, and because supply there is running out fast, locators have also shown renewed interest in Cebu and Pampanga – in addition to Metro Manila.

LPC emphasized that the IT-BPM sector has been driving the growth of the Philippine office market for over a decade now.

The sector remained the top demand driver of office spaces in the fourth quarter of 2020 until January of this year, accounting for approximately 40 to 50 percent of all transactions in the period.

In contrast to the IT-BPM market, LPC noted that Philippine Online Gaming Operators or POGOs, which overtook BPOs in 2019 as the largest driver of demand for Philippine office space, posted no new transactions beginning the second quarter of 2020 when new taxation regulations were imposed on them.