Developers can weather exodus of POGOs: Leechiu

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    Good deal. Bay Area lease rates have doubled to about P1,800 per square meter per month.
    Good deal. Bay Area lease rates have doubled to about P1,800 per square meter per month.

    Developers have enough buffer to weather an exodus of Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO), according to Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC).

    “We will get hurt but (it will) not (be) a total disaster,” said David Leechiu, LPC chief executive officer.

    “(Developers) are not in a tremendous pressure to cave in and drop the price. They have time to watch the market and lease it out at comfortable rate because of all (the) upfront money they have from the market,” said Leechiu.

    He said POGOs lock in their contracts for one to two years and pay the highest rent among lessors.

    This has doubled the lease rates in the Bay Area to P1,800 per square meter (sq.m.) per month for those which renting 30,000 to 50,000 sq.m. per transaction. The average rate is now at P960 per sq.m. per month.

    Leechiu said that while POGOs are the most robust buyers of office space in Metro Manila, they also locate in business process outsourcing (BPO) destinations.

    “If they vacate a space, BPOs will occupy it and over 12 to 18 months, it will be occupied,” said Leechiu.