We highlighted De-globalization as a trend to watch in 2020. Little did we know that the COVID-19 pandemic would accelerate existing currents and introduce a new set of drivers that could have significant impacts more quickly than anticipated.
As we head into 2021, we set out our thoughts on ten issues that have the potential to profoundly influence our world and the role of real estate within it.
Perhaps the most surprising result of the impromptu 2020 Homeworking Experiment is the perceived increase in productivity that so many participants report. Can this be true, and what does this tell us about the future of work?
We knew flex would be a hot topic in 2020, but it has quickly come to dominate office occupier thinking. A recent Avison Young survey of leading corporate occupiers identified three overwhelming priorities for real estate teams which suggest that a more flexible portfolio is a matter of necessity rather than choice.
In the early stages of the pandemic, employers told staff that they would re-open offices ASAP - but that not everyone would be able to return at once. When the time came, many struggled to attract back more than 20% of their employees. The implication is clear: people will now only come into the office if there’s a good reason to do so.
Property managers have been at the forefront of multiple crises in recent months, with the impact of COVID-19 compounded by a period of civil unrest in the United States. The experiences of 2020 are reshaping the relationship between landlords and tenants, with far-reaching implications for the future of real estate management.
One immediate impact of COVID-19 lockdowns was an unprecedented spike in online shopping. The emergence of new generations of retailers and consumers has put pressure on all aspects of the supply chain. It has also reignited debates around Last Mile delivery and the implications of e-commerce for physical retail.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have knocked climate change out of the headlines in 2020, but don’t forget, the year started with Larry Fink telling Blackrock’s clients that sustainability should be the new standard for investing because: “the investment risks presented by climate change are set to accelerate a significant reallocation of capital.”
By forcing us to spend more time closer to home, could COVID-19 be the catalyst for reinvigorating some urban areas that need it most?
The pandemic continues to affect almost every aspect of our lives, and in ways that potentially have far-reaching consequences for real estate assets. However, the economic stimulus measures being considered by governments across the globe offer some interesting investor opportunities.
Gross Domestic Product or “GDP” is the sum of the value of goods and services produced within a country over a given period. Not without reason has it been called “the most powerful statistical figure in human history” – so why would a Nobel prize winning economist be calling for it to be abolished?