The first half of the year was positive in the occupier market, with leasing activity slightly increasing in both Milan and Rome on figures reported for the same period of last year. Quality, location and work/life balance continue to be the main drivers of demand in both markets. A more dynamic half of the year with stronger takeup figures is expected, as occupiers who were looking for large spaces and had previously put their searches on hold, are now back on the market.
The implementation of vaccinations has led to an easing of restrictions, allowing retailers to a partial but encouraging return to normality, albeit with a cautious approach, such as reducing customers numbers and ensuring social distancing. Q2 substantially was a standby quarter, since both Landlords and Tenants are wating to understand how retail will respond to the partial return to normality; even if first data of footfall and sales are promising, operators are waiting for these trends to consolidate before taking any concrete action.