Despite the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, there would be opportunities for the country’s business process outsourcing industry, a real estate advisory firm said.
“Demand for BPO services will be ramped up by global companies which are cutting costs through outsourcing and offshoring,” Santos Knight Frank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Santos said.
Santos added the Philippines would remain an attractive destination for BPO investments with the country’s competitive costs and young talent.
For the office market, Santos Knight Frank sees a decline this year in new office space to 810,000 square meters (sqm) from its initial forecast of 1.18 million sqm.
The vacancy rate in the office sector in Metro Manila would be higher at 10 percent this year from 5 percent in 2019.
“Reduced demand for co-working and flexible workspace as Covid-19 continues to impact SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and social distancing measures are implemented,” the advisory firm said.
It added rental rate is expected to be stagnant in the second quarter of the year and may also contract at some point.
In 2019, office rental rates in Metro Manila increased by 6.87 percent averaging at P1,104.92 per sqm.
“We are experiencing a Black Swan event on a global scale that has slowed down the world economy and with it, the property market. Liquidity, flexibility, and business continuity are of utmost importance for companies to continue running,” Santos said.
The firm also encouraged owners, landlords, developers, and tenants to adopt strategies amid the Covid-19 crisis, including prioritizing cash and liquidity; providing a sense of security to tenants and customers; utilizing the space of existing real estate assets; exploring payment structures; and investing on online platforms.