REAL estate business leaders are optimistic the Philippines will be able to bounce back and a resurgence is possible in the most resilient sector, the office property.
This was the consensus at Philippine Real Estate Outlook & Sentiments Amid Lockdown forum hosted by Prime Philippines recently.
Delfin Wenceslao, chief executive officer of D.M. Wenceslao & Associates Inc., said construction of buildings will be delayed depending on how long the lockdown will be in effect and until social distancing guidelines are announced.
Wenceslao believes the office sector and the need to collaborate face-to-face will still be essential even after the outbreak.
“We’ve experienced this back in the early 2000s, we were trying to do work-from-home as well. But what companies found out was that, if you want to improve your company or if you want to build your company, people need to be in the same area or office to collaborate,” said Wenceslao.
“It helps companies for people to be in the same area. Other people are considering increasing their square meter area because they’re expecting that this might happen again, that’s what we’ll probably see, at least in the near term,” he added.
Ricardo Lagdameo, first vice president of Damosa Land shared a similar outlook on the office sector’s ability to recover after the outbreak.
“In the near term, the prognosis is quite negative but we are optimistic. We do like to see what the opportunities maybe once this is all over. We just really have to go sector by sector and look at sectors that will be most resilient. For us, we think the office sector will still be resilient,” Lagdameo said.
Jet Yu, Prime chief executive officer, said developers should leverage technology in their operations.
“We should take this time to embrace technology and understand it deeper. Since three years ago, we had digitalized our CRM (customer relations management) and company communications which allows our people to collaborate effectively even outside the office,” Yu said.