Retail Sector nears pre-pandemic vacancy rate

Photo from: Business World

By Business World

The Philippine commercial real estate sectors, particularly retail, is making a strong comeback, thanks to pent-up consumer demand, looser travel restrictions and return-to-office mandates, according to real estate services firm Santos Knight Frank.

Jan D. Custodio, Santos Knight Frank Research & Consultancy senior director, projected that the vacancy rate in the retail sector can reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.

“For the retail, we’re seeing that it is slowly picking up to near pre-pandemic levels. Probably towards the end of the year (it can reach pre-pandemic levels), barring new variants coming in and stymying the people’s drive to go out,” Mr. Custodio said during a virtual briefing on Tuesday.

As mobility restrictions eased, more Filipinos are now flocking to malls and eating in restaurants more regularly.

However, Mr. Custodio said improving public transportation is key to the retail sector’s sustained recovery.

Kash B. Salvador, Santos Knight Frank Investment & Capital Markets director, said the second-quarter vacancy rate in the retail sector is now approaching the pre-pandemic level.

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