Jennet Siebrits, Head of Research at CBRE, tells Peter Murray that there will be a rebound for office investment in 2021, evidenced by a pick-up in Q4 of 2020 which suggests the market is still very attractive to investors.
Coronavirus and the impact of home working is not considered an obstacle moving forwards, Jennet says the general direction of travel is that remote working will stick, but people will want to work in some sort of hybrid model, some days in the office, some at home.
In the future I think having offices in locations where people are going to want to travel to will be a predominant choice for occupiers, places with good transport links and good immunity are likely to be more important.
Retail footfall will recover when people are vaccinated – we might even see revenge spending, however, Jennet suggests the high street will need to consider accommodating more retail space for the fulfilment of an omni-channel strategy. This change will continue to increase the demand for urban logistics space in London and the South East, and Jennet recognises that accessing cities will be one of the greatest challenges moving forward.
The dropping population will be a temporary phenomenon, it does reflect the current environment. I have no doubt that when London re-opens that graduates will be back for work and to be at the hub of it.