Metro Manila’s office space take-up is seen to increase in 2018 after hitting another all-time high last year, a property brokerage services company said on Monday.
In a media briefing, Leechiu Property Consultants President David Leechiu said 2017’s take-up rose to 775,000 square meters (sqm).
“It’s our 15th all-time high and a 23-percent increase from 2016,” he added.
The company had pre-committed spaces measuring 415,000 sqm “as early as January,” Leechiu said, explaining that transactions for these spaces set to be finished this year took place in 2017.
Leechiu is confident the market would meet the 937,000 sqm office take-up goal this year.
“I feel good about the 937,000 sqm,” he said. “I think we’ll going to hit it this year, because we’ve already done about 50 percent of that already, and it’s only mid-February.”
Leechiu noted, however, that the market is experiencing an unusual transaction volume for office space.
January to April are usually the slowest months for the market, but current transaction volumes are like those seen during the peak October-to-December period, he said.
The information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector will “rebound” this year, Leechiu predicted.
“[The industry] took a beating in 2017. It had wait-and-see sentiment. And many companies who could have opened jobs in 2017 diverted to other countries,” he said.
“2017 is the slowest growth we’ve seen for the industry. Out of seven largest companies in the industry, only one grew,” the official added.
The sector, which saw its office take-up drop 26 percent to 358,000 sqm last year, will grow to 485,000 sqm in the next two years.
The online gaming industry, with posted a 234,000 sqm office take-up in 2017, is expected to grow 15 percent annually until 2020.