• Jones Lang La Salle exec calls for more office projects

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    MORE property spaces should be created, especially in the office segment, given huge demand from rapidly expanding business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, a senior Jones Lang La Salle (JLL) official said.

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    “[It is expected] that by 2020 … the demand side of the [global]market will grow by $250 billion and if the Philippines can just get 20 percent of that which is… 50 billion; today we’re at $23 billion,” JLL Philippines Regional Director Sheila Lobien said at The Manila Times’ 6th Business Forum held at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City last week.

    “That’s a lot. So we need to do more office space, more condominiums, more residential, more retail space. We need to support the government with the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program so that all other provincial areas will also be accessible and we will … decongest Metro Manila as well,” Lobien added.

    The Philippines, she noted, currently accounts for about 13 percent of the global outsourcing industry.

    To date, there is a “64 percent increase in supply [and]despite the number of office space that you see when you go out … it’s being taken up,” Lobien said.

    “The vacancy rate today is very minimal, 4 percent. Single-digit. That means all the office space in the market are fully-leased.”

    Lobien said that of second quarter, JLL found that 544,600 square meters (sq m) of office spaces had been taken.

    “Bulk of the office projects are in the Bonifacio Global City. Because a lot of developments are actually there,” she also said.

    “Because of the growth in the industry, the real estate market, we’ve observed several trends. One of that is the township locations. These multinational firms … would like to tap a cheaper labor market … and we have seen the growth … like in Cebu, Clark, in Davao, Bacolod.”

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