Office Vacancy doubles as POGO leaves the Philippines

From 4.9%, the estimated office vacancy in the Philippines might increase to 12.9%. This is the projected rate of the Real Estate consultancy Collier’s Philippines.  Although it is claimed that only 8% of the total offices in Metro Manila is occupied by the POGOs, major real estate developers experienced a dive in their stocks recently. This came after China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang urged the Philippines to ban all forms of online gambling, even as the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. already suspended the issuance of new licenses to POGOs.

Gambling, in any act, is considered illegal in Chinese Law. This includes online and offshore, although in practice, Chinese citizens participate in state-run lotteries, regularly travel to legal gambling centers overseas or in the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau and access gaming through offshore based proxy betting and online gambling companies.

Business World reported that the property counter was the biggest loser out of six sectoral indices at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) yesterday, losing 1.78% or 73.28 points to 4,034.69.

“Investors started selling down their property stocks on speculation that the possible POGO ban will be detrimental to the bottomline of developers,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Equity Analyst Anna Corenne M. Agravio said in a mobile phone message.

With the increased vacancy rate, traditional offices and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms could still fill the void should POGOs leave the country.

“These demand drivers may not easily fill the additional 8% vacancy but given the sustained pace of office take up, overall vacancy should still be at sub-10%,” According to Colliers Philippines.

How about the Residential Sector? I don’t even want to see the figures. Let me know your thoughts.