BPO property demand seen to rebound as gaming surges

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2018 03:49 PM | Updated as of Sep 28 2018 12:50 AM

MANILA - Property demand from business process outsourcing companies will likely rebound this year, while the growth from gaming companies will exceed expectations, a consulting firm said Monday.

Investors have "improved their sentiments from being cautious, 'wait and see' to actually doing deals," said Leechiu Property Consultants CEO David Leechiu.

Outsourcing companies will likely add 485,000 square meters of office space this year, after 357,999 square meters in 2017, the slowest expansion on record, Leechiu said.

Demand from the gaming sector is expected to grow 15 percent annually until 2020 after a 412-percent expansion in 2017 to 233,902 square meters, he said.

"BPM (outsourcing) players already invested in the Philippines will continue to dominate the Metro Manila office sector," he said.

Outside the capital, BPO companies are expanding in the surrounding provinces of Pampanga, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna and Cebu in the south to take advantage of new graduates, he said.

Growth in BPO, however, will likely be flat at around 485,000 square meters every year until 2020 in a "cautiously optimistic" scenario, he said.

"It’s reasonable for them to do this but it's aspirational to go beyond it," he said.

Leechiu said news headlines from the Philippines could be "very concerning" for Western countries, citing alleged extra judicial killings and martial law in the south.

The government has repeatedly denied state-sanctioned killings under its war on drugs and said martial rule in the south was necessary to defeat Islamic State-inspired extremists.