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UNITED Kingdom-based real-estate service company Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) said companies looking to start operations in the Philippines can easily find office space in Metro Manila.
JLL Country Head Lindsay Orr said they are very optimistic with the office-supply situation in the country this year.
“We are very positive. The supply and demand is brisk. There is 1 million square meters in supply,” Orr said, while tracing that the business-process outsourcing industry will account for 15 percent to 20 percent of demand.
However, Orr cautioned that companies could expect the prices of office space to increase.
“Prices will go up. We expect a 4-percent increase this year. Property prices goes up 10 percent per annum,” Orr said.
He said properties are priced at P550 to P1,000 per sq m for Grade A areas, while prime areas could fetch anywhere between P1,200 and P1,400 per sq m.
However, Orr said that for foreign companies wanting to expand operations, office-space cost is not the primary concern.
“Rent is not the driver. There is a competitive property price in the region. The concern is still the education supply. English language is much better here in the Philippines,” Orr said.
According to Orr, most of the available office spaces can be found in the Bonifacio Global City (BGC), the reclaimed areas in Manila Bay and in Alabang.
He said that within the Makati and Ortigas central business districts remain the preferred location of choice, there is currently limited office space available in those areas, as there are no more lands to construct new buildings.
“Makati is still the location of choice. BGC is an upcoming area,” Orr said, while citing Ayala Tower 1, Philam Life Tower, Enterprise Center, RCBC Plaza and Zuellig Building as the most coveted office spaces.
Orr said office expansions outside Metro Manila is possible once road infrastructures and rail projects are done.
Among the potential new office locations Orr cited included the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite—all of which are situated next to Metro Manila.
Orr said that even with the introduction of new technologies that allow individuals to do office work outside their respective offices, he believes the use of the physical office space will remain.
“Companies will have a desk-sharing system. They will work smart. Some people will work from home but office interaction will still be important,” Orr said.
Orr predicts that in the future, there will be less desk space but more meeting spaces in offices.
This was originally published in Business Mirror.
Head, Tenant Representation