PH office market revving up – Leechiu

The Philippine office market is back in business, hitting new highs in the first quarter of 2023.

Against this backdrop, office demand could hit pre-pandemic levels for the entire year despite global and domestic challenges, said Leechiu Property Consultants.

In a recent briefing, the company said leasing demand could potentially reach close to one million square meters this year.

In the first quarter of 2023, office demand was already 264,000 sqm compared to 124,000 in the same period last year as some companies are now returning to work.

LPC CEO David Leechiu said that historically, the first quarter has always been the slowest but this quarter, office demand reached a new high.

“We seem to have reached new highs for the first quarter, which historically has been the slowest quarter of the year,” Leechiu said.

For the entire year, Leechiu said it could be at par or better than 2022 numbers, driven by the reopening of the economy and the new jobs generated by the business process outsourcing industry.

Traditional occupiers, meanwhile, also accounted for 144,000 sqm of demand during the first quarter.

Despite the return of office demand, vacancy rates remain elevated at 18.2 percent in Metro Manila as the market continues to see additional supply.

Data from LPC showed that 1.3 million sqm in office space was added this year.

Of the different business districts, Bonifacio Global City is expected to lead the market recovery.

The revival of POGOs

On the return of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators or POGOs, Leechiu said it is indeed happening.

For the residential condominium market, LPC said this grew eight percent from the previous quarter, with over 12,000 units sold.


The property consultancy firm likewise said that the luxury residential market remains strong, registering over 400 percent growth.

At the same time, it noted that challenges remain such as sales cancellations that seem to trend higher than pre-COVID levels, as observed by real estate sales agents on the ground.