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Property sector to face headwinds in 2023 — JLL


THE property sector may face headwinds brought by structural changes and macroeconomic challenges this year, according to JLL Philippines.

“We may see rougher currents [in 2023] due to persisting structural changes and macro-economic headwinds that are weighing down on market activities,” JLL Philippines Research Manager Karisse N. Garcia said.

In the last quarter of 2022, JLL saw leasing and sale activities slow down, while rents and prices declined.

“Despite this, we believe that fundamental market drivers would serve as ‘floaters’ for the industry through 2023,” Ms. Garcia said.

One of the drivers seen by the property consultant is the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which provides the majority of the demand for office spaces.

“[These drivers] would include the sustained growth of the BPO sector, which is anticipated to accelerate further in terms of both revenue and manpower, coming from the roadmap and forecasts from IBPAP (IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines),” Ms. Garcia said.

The further return to normalcy is said to improve the return-to-office rates, said Ms. Garcia, as the looser restrictions will encourage foot traffic in public places.

“Lastly, the outstanding rebound of the tourism sector may buoy the performance primarily of the hospitality and retail sectors,” she added.

Meanwhile, JLL expects return-to-office rates to move with an upward bias this year but not by a significant amount as some workforce are already back in the workplace.

“Filipinos are already learning how to live with [the] pandemic and this is encouraging more of the population to return back to public places, pulling up not only return-to-office rates but also retail foot traffic, among others,” Ms. Garcia said.

She noted, however, that the level of return-to-office rates across different business types and operations would not be uniform and would continue to vary.

“There would be some businesses [that] would opt to do full remote work, full on-site work, and hybrid work, depending on what work arrangement would be best fit for their type of operation,” Ms. Garcia added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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