Property can 'quickly recover' if gaming demand falls: Colliers


Posted at Aug 09 2019 04:10 PM

Phil-Asian Gaming Expo features offshore games targetting bettors outside the Philippines. Games can be played on desktop or mobile devices. Photos taken at the SMX Convention Center. July 12, 2019. Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Property firms can "quickly recover" should demand for office space from offshore gaming firms or POGOs decline, consulting firm Colliers said Friday.

China on Thursday urged Filipino authorities to "punish" those behind the illegal recruitment of Chinese nationals to POGOs, as it expressed concern over Manila's plan to establish hubs for the gaming firms.

Developers "made sure" to limit their exposure to POGOs, with some capping it at 10 percent of office space stock, Colliers International Philippines director for Office Services Don Andaya said.

"Overall market, this may have a big impact but there are measures that can be done so that the market can quickly recover,” he added. 

Office space demand from offshore gaming was "relentless" reaching 274,000 square meters in the first quarter, Colliers data showed. By the end of 2019, POGOs were estimated to occupy 1 million square meters of office space in Metro Manila, Andaya said. 

Property developers can also turn to business process outsourcing and other traditional occupants.

“If tomorrow they’ll be gone, that’s additional 9 percent in terms of vacancy but the good thing is that there are other occupiers. BPOs remain to be here, they are 30 percent of the market," Andaya said.

POGOs also pay 6 months in advance with 6 months deposits, giving landlords and developers ample time to find other tenants in case offshore gaming companies pull out of the country, RCBC Securities head of Reseach Raul Ruiz told ANC. 

“Even if these POGOs pullout all of a sudden, the landlord still have 1 year grace period to find replacement tenants, so I think they’re in a good position, nonetheless,” Ruiz said.

-- with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News