Philippine Daily Inquirer - - PROPERTY - By AmyR. Remo @amyre­moINQ

Aprop­erty ser­vices firm has urged the Philip­pine Eco­nomic Zone Author­ity (Peza) to fast-track the re­lease of build­ing procla­ma­tions to meet the grow­ing de­mand for of­fice space, par­tic­u­larly by the IT and busi­ness process man­age­ment in­dus­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Pronove Tai In­ter­na­tional Prop­erty Con­sul­tants, Peza is­sued only five build­ing procla­ma­tions in Metro Manila in the last 14 months, out of the 22 build­ing ap­pli­ca­tions.

It pointed out that IT-BPM com­pa­nies oc­cupy of­fice spa­ces in the Peza pro­claimed build­ings to meet their in­fra­struc­ture as well as in­cen­tive re­quire­ments. In essence, slow build­ing procla­ma­tions mean slow take up from the IT-BPM play­ers.

“PEZA procla­ma­tions should be fast tracked. The pri­vate sec­tor has al­ready put in the in­vest­ment, and so we urge the gov­ern­ment to help us now with the letters of no ob­jec­tion for Philip­pine off­shore gam­ing oper­a­tors and Peza build­ings for IT-BPM,” Pronove Tai CEO Monique Pronove ex­plained in a state­ment.

“Or else we’ll have a grow­ing va­cancy be­cause I can’t bring all of this de­mand to all these build­ings. It will be a bane to the pri­vate in­vestors of newly built build­ings to have grow­ing va­can- cies as a re­sult of not be­ing able to cater to the de­mand driv­ers due to gov­ern­ment re­stric­tions,” Pronove stressed.

Healthy av­er­age

Pronove fur­ther noted that while the lo­cal of­fice mar­ket va­cancy rates and con­struc­tion de­liv­ery have im­proved, de­mand driv­ers could use more sup­port from the gov­ern­ment.

As of the end third quar­ter this year, the of­fice mar­ket va­cancy in Metro Manila reg­is­tered at a healthy 5 per­cent av­er­age, for the first time since 2011, ac­cord­ing to Pronove.

“Any­thing be­tween 5 to 10 per­cent is con­sid­ered healthy in the in­dus­try—suf­fi­cient space for busi­nesses to ex­pand within the dis­trict,” she said.

Based on prop­erty con­sul­tancy firm’s Q3 Metro Manila Of­fice Mar­ket Overview, five of­fice dis­tricts moved out of the un­healthy zone or those with of­fice va­cancy rates lower than 5 per­cent. These were Taguig, Man­daluy­ong and Que­zon City at 7 per­cent, Muntinlupa at 8 per­cent, and Or­ti­gas Cen­ter at 5 per­cent. Mean­while, Makati and Bay Area trailed at 2 per­cent.

Marked im­prove­ments

Ac­cord­ing to Pronove, this pos­i­tive devel­op­ment in the va­cancy rates could be partly at­trib­uted to a marked im­prove­ment in con­struc­tion de­liv­ery in the third quar­ter. Projects that were de­layed in the first half of the year were com­pleted in the third quar­ter.

The re­port also noted that sched­uled con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties were kept on track for the most part with only 43,000 sqm or 11 per­cent of the pro­jected third quar­ter com­ple­tions moved to an early fourth quar­ter date.

“This pos­i­tive, though mod­est, devel­op­ment is def­i­nitely a move to­wards the right di­rec­tion and could not come at a bet­ter tim­ing. Some of these build­ings were long over­due and have pre-leased oc­cu­pants wait­ing for com­ple­tion,” Pronove said.

Twelve new build­ings or about 331,000 sqm of of­fice space were com­pleted in the third quar­ter, con­tribut­ing to a to­tal stock of ap­prox­i­mately 9.3 million sqm of gross leasable area (GLA) as of end Septem­ber 2017.

“By the end of the year, we are look­ing at hav­ing a to­tal of 1.2 million sqm sup­ply for 2017, mak­ing it the high­est in the his­tory of the Philip­pine of­fice mar­ket,” Pronove added.

PEZA was urged to fast track build­ing procla­ma­tions to cater to grow­ing de­mand.

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