With the Philippine government’s ‘Balik Probinsya’ program, the real estate industry eyes development opportunities outside of Metro Manila in order to create more liveable cities for employees in a post-COVID-19 society.
In a virtual briefing held on Tuesday, May 12, KMC Savills Managing Director Michael McCullough noted that the current work-from-home arrangement adopted by many companies to combat the COVID-19 outbreak will allure property developers to build projects that are more convenient for employees.
The ‘Balik Probinsya’ program was proposed by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go. The program aims to decongest the National Capital Region (NCR)—a necessary initiative for the government to undertake post-COVID-19.
McCullough also cited that the program will help slow down urbanization in Metro Manila and create more liveable cities in the provinces.
“We are seeing a lot of clients scrabble for decentralized locations. Many of our call center clients have contacted us saying, “We need locations closer to our agents,” he said.
With the COVID-19 global pandemic, McCullough also added that leasing activity is expected to slow down while vacancy rate in office space is projected to increase in Metro-Manila. Metro Manila only delivered new office space supply of 36,500 square meters during this quarter due to construction delays.
For 2020, new office supply in Metro Manila’s central business districts is projected to reach nearly 300,000 square meters, a downgrade from over 700,000 square meters new supply in office spaces the previous year.