Lamudi bullish on PHL real-estate industry prospects after elections

After experiencing some uncertainties caused by the recently concluded elections, online real-estate platform Lamudi is bullish on the real-estate industry.

Lamudi said it expect activities to pick up with more positive developments from post-pandemic recovery initiatives with more clarity as economic agendas and housing plans from the new administration are unveiled.

“Property buying and selling activities may have taken a pause during these periods as offices close and clients schedule meetings before or after the festivities. Property seekers and sellers alike are out and about and partaking in the holiday activities during these weeks,” Lamudi Philippines CEO Kenneth Stern said in a recent webinar.

In general, he said, elections create market uncertainty as project and policy continuity hangs in balance. It is also expected for investors to take a wait-and-see attitude as economic agenda, Cabinet appointments and post-pandemic recovery plans from the incoming President are rolled out.

The property seeker market on Lamudi assumes the same position. Leads attracted by the platform dropped by 3 percent (April 25-May 1, 2022) and 12 percent (May 2-May 8, 2022), respectively, in the two weeks leading up to election day.

However, property-seeking activity on the platform improved as leads picked up by 8 percent during the week of election day (May 9 – May 15, 2022) and has remained stable in the week since.

Meanwhile, Colliers Philippines said the office market is showing signs of recovery as it recorded a positive net take-up in first quarter of 2022 after seven consecutive quarters of negative absorption.

“Traditional and BPO [Business Process Outsourcing]  firms continue to dominate demand as they take advantage of the rental correction and availability of new office buildings in major business districts,” said Colliers associate director for research Joey Roi Bondoc told reporters in a recent webinar.

“Colliers sees the office market finally turning a corner as it recorded a positive net take-up in first quarter 2022 after seven consecutive quarters of negative absorption. Traditional [companies in various sectors, such as legal, engineering and construction, government agencies and flexible workspace operators] and business process outsourcing companies continue to dominate demand as they take advantage of the rental correction and availability of new office buildings in major business districts. Companies’ return-to-office mandates should also support office absorption over the next 12 months,” he explained.

“In 2022, we see the completion of 821,900 square meters of new office space, nearly 60 percent of which will likely come from the Ortigas Center, Makati Fringe, and the Bay Area. Office rents, meanwhile, dropped by an average of 3.1 percent QoQ in Q1 2022. We project a slow recovery in lease rates starting in 2023 as we see a pick-up in demand from outsourcing and traditional firms. Vacancy reached 17.3 percent in Q1 2022 from 15.7 percent in Q4 2021. Colliers revises its year-end projection of an 18.2 percent vacancy from 18.9 percent due to tapered new supply,” he added.

Bondoc urged tenants that are still in a wait-and-see mode to consider occupying flexible workspaces. Those with long-term occupancy plans should lock in spaces in new and sustainable office buildings and take advantage of rental corrections and other concessions given by landlords. With Roderick L. Abad

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