Nearly a fifth of Metro Cebu's office property units stood vacant in the first quarter while muted demand amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic kept rental rates soft.
This is according to property consulting firm KMC Savills, which reported that overall office vacancies in Cebu continued to increase in the first quarter of 2021, finishing at 19.2 percent from around 17 percent in 2020.
The vacancy rate is seen to remain at such high level through 2022, according to KMC Savills. The report said Cebu Business Park (CBP) managed to close the quarter with 16,000 square meters of office space occupied amid the addition of business process outsourcing-focused Mabuhay BPO Tower.
Vacancy rate in this subsegment stood at 13.2 percent, better than the rates in other areas. The research noted that both Cebu IT Park (CITP) and Cebu fringe areas continued to lose tenants, with vacancy rates ending at 25.9 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively.
Prior to 2015, office vacancy rate in Metro Cebu was just at a single-digit level. "Rents remained in the downtrend for both CITP and Cebu Fringe as landlords dealt with the increase in vacancies in both areas," the report said.
Rents in CBP grew by 0.3 percent during the quarter, with new stock restructuring market demand.
On average, office rental rate in Cebu stood at P577.6 per square meter per month, 2.3-percent lower compared to the start of the pandemic a year ago, the report said. INQ RENT PRICES DOWN
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