Property retailers occupy over a third of PH gross leasable area

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PHILIPPINE property retailers account for more than a third of the total gross leasable area (GLA) in the country, according to a report published by global real estate services firm Savills.

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In the “Manila Retail” edition of the “Asian Cities Report” series, Savills noted that an estimated 87.5 percent of the total gross leasable area in the Philippines is accounted for by the retail market and is dominated by three major developers: SM Prime Holdings Inc., Ayala Land Inc. and Robinsons Land Corp.

The report emphasized that “demand for tenancies within the malls is still at its peak, encouraging developers to launch more projects.”

The retail market is expected to add some nine shopping malls this year that would bring the total GLA to 7.10 million square meters from 6.48 million sqm, a 9.5-percent increase.

The largest project is SM’s 200,000-sqm endeavor to expand the Mall of Asia to 550,000 sqm, making it one of the world’s biggest malls.

The retail market’s success in Metro Manila is driving developers to explore other opportunities in the provinces and nearby cities such as the SM City Seaside in Cebu, with a gross floor area of 472,400 sqm.

Besides the major players, a few of the so-called community mall developers like DoubleDragon Properties and Cosco Capital are also stepping up the game.

DoubleDragon is currently on a retail expansion binge in line with the firm’s goal of having 100 malls by 2020. The plan is to put up eight malls in the next two years.

Savills is forecasting an estimated 600,000 sqm of retail space to be in the pipeline by 2018.

“The optimistic consumer sentiment will grow sales and put upward pressure on rents, reaching a 5-[percent]to 10-percent growth in 2015.”

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