How the Pandemic is Refueling Rental Demand

Date: Aug 16, 2021

At the beginning of the pandemic, lockdowns played a big part in the changing renting market. Some renters in the city working in non-essential industries may have gone back to their hometowns, while their units became available for essential workers who needed to be close to the office. Dorm rooms and coliving spaces for students and young professionals became staff housing options for businesses. These changes in industry trends and customer preferences induced by the pandemic opened up many opportunities in the local rental industry.

Here are the factors that have reinvigorated interest in rental properties over the past year and a half:

The rise of e-commerce and quarantine businesses 

The popularity of e-commerce and cloud-based services continue to be a strong driver of warehousing and storage demand. Commercial properties–which include offices, warehouses, buildings, and co-working spaces–commanded the strongest quarterly growth figures throughout the first half of 2021. 

Commercial spaces on Lamudi attracted 68% more leads quarter-on-quarter in 1Q 2021, and 35% more leads in 2Q 2021. The influx of vaccines, food and other imported goods spurred interest in spaces for cold storage facilities–an industry gearing up to be one of the hottest in real estate in the new normal.

The need for WFH

At the height of the pandemic, home became the place for work, study, and recreation. Properties with amenities such as open spaces, balconies, and fitness areas became highly in demand for renters. The addition of internet connectivity to housing units also enticed renters looking for a halfway home as a haven during the pandemic. 

For those who needed to self-quarantine, rental properties with connectivity amenities made coping with the pandemic more manageable as they can continue to talk to their family virtually without compromising their safety. 

The demand for on-site housing

The lack of public transport and vaccines early in the pandemic created logistical problems especially for those working in essential businesses. To address this, essential businesses and other companies that required face-to-face work to operate provided accommodations for workers near the office, factory, or plant. This also worked as a strategy for companies to control and minimize exposure to COVID-19. Some business process outsourcing firms collaborated with hotels to provide staff housing, while companies in the construction industry rented out housing to keep employees near the project site.

Long-stay promos

Serviced apartments and hostels have enticed vacationers, remote workers, and business travelers with long-term rent accommodation packages and the allure of hotel and resort-style living. Pent-up cabin fever has prompted more to consider longer stays in scenic locations, and those in the hospitality business have taken notice. To help stimulate activity in the space, they’ve offered special short-stay and long-stay packages with themes such as ‘work from home’, ‘spa staycation’, and the like.

Workcation perks 

Exposure to the outdoors has attracted many towards the provinces and other cities with easy access to nature. According to Lamudi data, the cities that attracted the most leads in the second quarter of 2021 included Cebu City, Baguio, Tagaytay and Antipolo – renowned leisure cities on mountainsides or locations abundant with beaches. This is a significant change from the top five cities in the same period in 2020, which was composed of mostly central business districts. Additionally, tourist spots such as Ilocos Norte, Siargao, Palawan and Boracay were among the top searched terms on Lamudi in the first half of the year. 

The rental landscape may be changing, but there is still a strong rental market for business owners, workers and freelancers.

Source: Lamudi Philippines 

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