Philippines BPO Drives Office Space Supply Record Highs

New office space in Metro Manila is set to reach record levels over the next few years as developers try to meet demand from global companies looking to outsource to the Philippines. According to a report published by Colliers International Philippines, property developers added 466,354 square meters of office space in 2014, almost reaching the all-time high of 467,030 square meters in 2009. 

Major property developer Megaworld said they have almost 200 tenants in their portfolio, pushing the company to create supply. Colliers estimated that about 1.85 million square meters of office space will be added in 2015 through 2017 in Makati, Ortigas, Bonifacio Global City, and Quezon City business districts. 

Real estate consultancy firm CBRE Philippines told Reuters that over 50 percent of the office space supply for 2015 had already been leased by February. CBRE also reported that the strong demand for new office space has increased Metro Manila’s average lease rate by 8 percent to $18 per square meter at the end of 2014. Data from 2013 showed a 4 percent increase by comparison. The vacancy rates in prime business areas in the Metro also dropped to 4.5-5 percent from 2010 to 2014 from a 9 percent drop in 2009.

Global firms, “established (like HSBC and Accenture) and new”, remain attracted to outsource to the Philippines because of low operating costs and a workforce that speaks English with high proficiency.