Leechiu: Property market remains vibrant

The country’s real estate sector remains vibrant despite all the global challenges.

The Philippines is one of three countries in the world where property is still strong, says property expert David Leechiu, chief executive officer of Leechiu Property Consultants.

“We should all be grateful because the Philippines is one of only maybe three countries in the world where the property market is still buoyant, healthy, exciting, optimistic,” Leechiu said.

Aside from the Philippines, the property market in Singapore is also booming as it benefits from the exodus of capital from China while India’s market is being driven by the strong BPO industry in Bangalore.

In the case of the Philippines, demand is coming from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) which rented 88,000 square meters (sqm) in the first half of 2023.

This is significantly bigger than the 89,000 sqm they occupied in the last three years combined.

“POGOs have taken relevant space,” said Leechiu Property Director for Commercial Leasing Mikko Barranda.

POGOs cater to customers overseas but they have offices in the Philippines for support and other backroom operations.

In all, in the first half of the year, demand for office space reached 540,000 square meters in the first half of 2023, outperforming the demand in the same period last year by 46 percent from the 379,000 sqm recorded in the first half of 2022.

Metro Manila made up 77 percent of the total demand during the semester.

On the other hand, provincial demand accounted for about 23 percent. Among the provinces,  Cebu had the largest demand at 66 percent or 85,000 sqm and Clark, Pampanga accounted for 20 percent or 25,000 sqm.