The way we live and work will undoubtedly change as we enter a post COVID-19 world – But how exactly will this reshape residential living?
• We will see a stronger demand for rental properties. People that have financial concerns or reservations about the security of their job are more inclined to rent a property. In this situation, property investors find themselves with more options from a tenancy perspective and certainly benefit from a high tenancy rates. Rightmove, who have stated that the demand for rental property across Great Britain is 22% higher than this time last year, supports this view.
• The work-from-home trend will continue. The UK Office of National Statistics released data showing 70% of all workers in the UK prior to lock-down had never worked from home before. Now that it’s been in-practice across all industries, employers are gaining a new perspective that demonstrates significant savings can be had. It is estimated that in London alone, the cost to a company is between £650 and £1500 a month per employee. Going forward we anticipate seeing work-from-home policies change, with companies implementing flexible working arrangements that will allow firms to drastically reduce their overhead costs and facilitate better lifestyles for employees and their families.
• New builds will shift their attention to on-site facilities and locations to compliment new lifestyle trends. Developers are going to need to re-evaluate current apartment layouts, thinking about future requirements if people are going to be working from home. You can see this in Savills’ latest Residential Global Market Sentiment Survey where 83% of respondents felt that strong wi-fi was their number one priority when renting or buying a new apartment and 73% felt that demand for access to green spaces is also a top priority.
• Residential developers will look to permitted development of commercial spaces. With people working in offices that are far smaller, there will be an excess of commercial real estate in prime locations with access to key employment nodes. These will undoubtedly be redesigned into sought-after residential space as it is quicker and cheaper than starting a new build.
London Belgravia’s Strategy post Covid-19
London Belgravia is already a champion of city centre living with access to hotel-like amenities, so we are glad our current crop of clients will benefit from our foresight to an even greater degree in the short-to-mid-term. For future investment opportunities, our focus will continue to be locations that are centrally located, in close proximity of local offices or employment nodes to allow for easy commuting a few days per week.
We anticipate great development opportunities in these areas as a result, which will in-turn provide our investors with a greater number of choices, when selecting their next investment.