Stay alert: Business is rethinking commercial property and construction should take note

There are signs that confidence in the commercial property market is returning amid the pandemic. According to Colliers International, some £2bn worth of transactions occurred in July. This is around 60% lower than the figure for July 2019, but it could signal a market ready to bounce back.

But the "new normal" hasn’t shown its cards yet. Our research shows that UK business leaders believe society has changed forever.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many businesses overcame the initial Covid challenges and have adopted new practices to improve operational efficiency and customer outreach.

However, the construction industry should stay tuned to the changing preferences of the commercial property market, because a big shift in thinking is underway.

We surveyed more than 500 senior UK business decision-makers to see how the pandemic has affected their commercial property needs, and it’s clear that businesses are no longer looking at offices in the same way.

58% of respondents believe working from home will become the norm.

Just under three quarters (73%) believe Covid-19 will result in more businesses downsizing to smaller office spaces in the coming 12 months.

Nearly two-fifths (37%) said they were planning to relocate to a smaller commercial space themselves.

Half (50%) said their preference for commercial working spaces had "changed significantly" as a result of Covid-19, which is having an impact on the size of commercial workspaces they will be seeking.  

Businesses no longer look at offices and commercial property in the same way, and this is likely to have significant implications for property developers and commercial landlords.

If radical action is required of the construction industry, it’s too early yet to say what exactly it is. Things are very much in flux.

The challenge for construction firms is ensuring they are aware of the latest trends.

  • Accumulate Capital connects registered investors with developers in the property development finance sector.
Image: Piccadilly Circus, London, UK (Adrian Raudaschl/Unsplash)
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