RESIDENTIAL RENTERS seeking dwellings in the central business districts (CBDs) of Makati, Pasig, and Taguig spiked in the first quarter after companies availing of fiscal incentives in economic zones were ordered to return to on-site work by April 1, online real estate marketplace Lamudi said.

It said in a statement that the challenge for landlords that will house workers returning to the office will be to match the conditions the workers had grown accustomed to after up to two years of working from home.

“While this offers promising opportunities for real estate players, it also presents challenges, primarily in making commercial spaces appealing to employees who have become used to working from home,” Lamudi CEO Kenneth Stern said in the statement.

In a report on the data it had compiled from the first quarter, Lamudi found that prospective CBD renters were split 60-40 between Metro Manila residents and those originating from outside of the capital, with the prime renting demographic aged 18 to 34.

The top generator of rental leads for the CBDs were hinterland cities of Mega Manila like Angeles, Antipolo, Bacoor, Calamba, and Lipa. Cebu City was the ninth-largest source of leads for Taguig, and Baguio City was in the top 10 for Pasig.

Lamudi said the majority of rental inquiries from Bacoor, Calamba, and Lipa were for rooms to rent, bed spaces, and studio units, while inquiries from Metro Manila-based renters were mainly for one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and studio units.

Metro Manila-based renters were most interested in condominiums, whereas Luzon-based renters were more evenly distributed between apartments and condominium units.

Rooms for rent in Quezon City ranged from P3,500 for a 15-square meter space. The same space averaged P3,800 in Pasig and P4,990 in Makati.

It said the main driver of the residential rental market was job opportunities in the information technology- business process outsourcing industry, as well as corporate headquarters located in the CBDs. — Patricia B. Mirasol