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KMC Savills and its international affiliate, Savills, has just released its bi-annual Asian Cities Report for Manila Office. The report, which covers the first half of 2017, features key market updates on the local office sector.

Office Market Overview

The Manila office market has recorded impressive growth in the past few years driven by the increasing demand for space from the expanding O&O sector. The growing outsourcing operations in the capital led to net take-up outpacing new supply in 2016 which pushed vacancy rate down to 2% by the end of the year.

New supply

The construction delays in 2016 have led to a noticeable rise in the anticipated new supply in the 2017 pipeline. BGC will account for close to half of all new additions this year with 461,400 sq m while the Bay Area will come in second with 206,700 sq m. Although new supply for 2017 in these submarkets is relatively large compared to previous periods, we have still witnessed high levels of leasing activity. Furthermore, a number of buildings in both districts have already been partially preleased and there are encouraging signs that the robust occupier demand is intact.

Investment market and Forecast

In the asset market, investment activity was not as busy compared to 2015 due to the lack of big ticket acquisitions. Additionally, the landscape was dominated by several land deals with just two offi ce transactions recorded during 2016.

The robust economic story of the Philippines is expected to continue this year with GDP estimates still within 6% to 7%. However, there are risks of downgrades from credit agencies which have already raised worries of the unpredictability of the current government's policies. In addition, the forecast budget deficit may further add to this likelihood despite the added government stimulus.

To read the full report, click here.