SAFE RETURN to workspaces is driving the demand for large condominiums and properties near mass transportation hubs, online property marketplace Lamudi said.

The company in a report on Friday said that the need for staff housing during the health crisis continues to drive demand for large residential spaces. The share of leads for rentals worth P100,000 to P200,000 in Luzon areas close to industrial plants and export processing zones increased in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period a year earlier.

Properties at the same price range also slightly grew in Metro Manila and in Visayas.

“Mid-rise condos, houses with multiple bedrooms, and other types of private residential housing present attractive options for companies in search of staff housing or on-site housing near their office,” the report said.

Lamudi said the demand for affordable rentals bounced back this year as parts of the population return to office work, with leads in properties in the P5,000 to P15,000 range growing on a quarter-by-quarter basis since the third quarter of 2020.

Those returning to office-based work are looking to rent spaces near bus stops or rail stations in Ortigas Avenue, West Rembo, and Western Bicutan. These areas are close to the Ortigas, Makati and Bonifacio Global City central business districts. Residents, Lamudi said, are able to access transportation offices on foot or via bicycle or motorcycle, minimizing transfers.

“Lamudi data on proposed Metro Manila Subway destinations — areas with major foot traffic — shows that more property seekers were looking into rental properties in the second quarter of 2021. ‘Rent to own’ was the top searched non-location specific term on the site in (the first half),” the report said.

“Real estate owners would do well to hold on to their properties in these areas as land values appreciate upon completion of the subway project. In the meantime, should residing there not be the best option, owners can rent out the property to young professionals, small businesses and even BPO companies in need of staff housing depending on the owner’s property type and size.”

Despite some return to office-based work, many are still working remotely or by freelance, leading to interest in leisure destinations in Siargao and Boracay.

Lamudi data also showed that some sought-after cities in the second quarter of 2021 were “renowned leisure destinations or cities with easy access to nature,” including Baguio, Tagaytay, and Antipolo.

“Provinces have recognized the demand from many young professionals to work from scenic places with plenty of outdoor amenities long term, and in the case of Ilocos Norte, have even incentivized for entrepreneurs and remote workers to put up shop on their shores,” the report said. — Jenina P. Ibañez