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COVID-19: UK Real Estate Perspectives

As the COVID-19 pandemic envelops the globe, we are committed to providing our clients with up to the minute intelligence and commentary as to what is happening in the real estate markets.

This is Part 5 COVID-19 UK Real Estate Perspectives. Our experts share their insight on how the pandemic is already effecting change within their sectors.  

Many in the UK will be returning to the workplace in the coming weeks. Tony Comber, of Building Engineering Services, in The Safe Office – Pivoting Building Ventilation Strategies, outlines how ventilation systems in office buildings should be adjusted to create a COVID-19 safe environment for employees. 

Tim Crighton, Logistics & Retail EMEA, takes us on the journey of a humble T shirt destined for sale in What do you do with 1,000,000 T Shirts Stuck on an Airfield in Suffolk? Fashion retailers are resorting to some unconventional solutions within their supply chains to tackle the restrictions imposed during COVID-19 pandemic. Solutions which may accelerate supply chain changes within the sector. 

While lockdown for millions worldwide has brought positive environmental effects, Andrew Baker, Head of Energy Infrastructure & Environment, reminds us that the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change remain. In his article The Urgency to Mitigate Climate Change Increases, he looks at 4 key actions the real estate industry must take to accelerate its commitment to action on climate change, as it finds its way out of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Continuing the theme, Richard Pickering, Chief Strategy Officer, UK sees that The Property Industry Needs to Change. He reviews the factors that have shaped the sector and looks 2 years ahead to identify key areas where change will happen, including: business consolidation, property ownership, worker location and a change in the value chain of assets, skills and capital, and the relationships between those that provide each. 

Please do get in touch; we stand ready to help you navigate through these uncertain times.

Latest UK COVID-19 Trends & Insights

Power plant engineer
Insights • Office

The Safe Office - Pivoting Building Ventilation Strategies

The start of 2020 saw building engineers focused on new minimum energy efficiency standards and the drive to net zero carbon by 2050. We have now pivoted to looking at how safe our office buildings are for occupiers upon a return to work, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on ventilation and air conditioning systems. 
Tony Comber • 20/05/2020
Ship with shipping containers
Insights • Logistics

Supply Chain Challenges

What do you do with 1,000,000 T shirts stuck on an airfield in Suffolk? It might seem an odd question – indeed at any other time it would be an odd question, but it’s exactly the sort of challenge facing some of our major retailers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Tim Crighton • 20/05/2020
Glass office facade with tree Australia
Insights • Sustainability

The Urgency to Mitigate Climate Change Increases

We are assured the impacts of COVID-19, while catastrophic, will be relatively short term and the economic bounce back will be strong. Will climate change then reassert its #1 position on people’s agendas or will we see a lost decade of climate action?
Andrew Baker • 20/05/2020
Coruna, Spain
Insights • Commentary

The Property Industry Needs to Change

The property industry needs to change. That’s nothing new. However, COVID-19 is a spark that is likely to set a fire under much of what we know. 
Richard Pickering • 20/05/2020
modern office with lamps and Vitra style chairs
Insights • Workplace

The Challenges of Returning to Work

The return to work is considered across 3-time horizons and across 5 key areas from integrated facilities management, work space, people and future work patterns, to buildings and portfolio.
Nicola Gillen • 21/04/2020
UK London City

The Challenge for London Construction

Nic Wilkinson, Head of London Project & Development Services considers how the development of new protocols has enabled sites to reopen with reasonable levels of productivity, albeit with compromised supply chains.
Nic Wilkinson • 06/05/2020
Empty office modern clean
Insights • Occupier

Is The Office Under Threat?

Ben Cullen, Head of Occupier Representation, London Markets considers whether the office is under threat and whether when the pandemic is over there will be no need for offices as everyone works remotely. 
Ben Cullen • 06/05/2020
diners outside London pizza restaurant
Insights • Retail

Steps to Retail Recovery in Asia and Europe

Dr Yvonne Court looks at retail recovery in Asia and considers what European retailers can learn from the reopening of shops in the region.
Yvonne Court • 06/05/2020
graph and numbers on blue screen
Insights • Investment

Capital Markets - What's Next?

Jason Winfield, Head of Investment Agency UK & Ireland reports resilience in Central London offices, supported by interest from overseas buyers who see good value, and in logistics and industrial as a consequence of investor belief in the structural shift to online.
Jason Winfield • 06/05/2020
desk by window of skyscraper
Insights • Commentary

Who Wanted Normal Anyway?

Richard Pickering, Chief Strategy Officer, UK reviews how things have changed since the virus, he points to some positives, and questions why in fact we would want to revert to the way things were either in the short or long term. 
Richard Pickering • 06/05/2020
Insights • Commentary

Rethinking Density

Putting people together creates value. This principle is now being significantly challenged by COVID-19. Do we need to rethink density? If so, do we also need to rethink cities and offices?
Richard Pickering • 21/04/2020
pillows on hotel double bed
Insights • Hospitality

Hospitality Challenges

Two months ago, the conversations around the UK hospitality sector were focused on exciting new brands, the undisputed positives of long-term global demographic and tourism trends and how best to package product to satisfy the increasing appetite from institutional capital seeking to capitalise on the secure long term income provided by the sector.
Jonathan Hubbard • 07/04/2020
arrow engraved in concrete
Insights • Occupier

Occupier Decision Making

As we stop and reflect on what is, for most people, week 2 or 3 of our imposed lock down, a massive call out to all FM teams globally. They have been working flat out to help businesses stay functioning and open where this is necessary, as well as lending additional support to front-line businesses.
Michael Creamer • 08/04/2020
glasses on desk inside skyscraper office looking out at night time city
Insights • Valuation

The Valuer's Perspective

March quarter figures will show a marked downgrading in all sectors bar Central London offices and the best industrial and logistics units.
Charles Smith • 08/04/2020
high rise apartment block looking up
Insights • Investment

COVID-19 and Alternatives

Investors in specialist sectors such as student accommodation, life sciences, retirement living, data centres, healthcare, co-working, hotels and residential are seeking to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the underlying operational businesses as quickly as possible.

David Haynes • 21/04/2020
ethernet cables in sockets
Insights • Data Center

Data Centres Versus COVID-19

With society under physical lockdown, we have never been more reliant on data centre facilities, as we increase our virtual (on-line) presence.
Stephen Kirby • 07/04/2020
flexible workspace people working in converted warehouse
Insights • Coworking

Flexible Workspace's Biggest Challenge

Although some flexible workspace operators had not until now weathered a downturn what we learnt from the GFC in 2008 was that demand for flexible workspace in times of uncertainty tends to remain high.
Emma Swinnerton • 07/04/2020
empty hospital operating theatre
Insights • Healthcare

Healthcare Balance of Risk and Opportunity

Never has the healthcare industry been in the spotlight to such an extent and rarely has the interaction between the public and private sectors been so constructive and collaborative.
Martin Robb • 07/04/2020
pillows on hotel double bed
Insights • Hospitality

Hospitality Challenges

Two months ago, the conversations around the UK hospitality sector were focused on exciting new brands, the undisputed positives of long-term global demographic and tourism trends and how best to package product to satisfy the increasing appetite from institutional capital seeking to capitalise on the secure long term income provided by the sector.
Jonathan Hubbard • 07/04/2020
Knightsbridge, London during COVID-19 lockdown
Insights • Retail

Retail Quarterday Mayhem

As the ‘stay at home’ message crescendos, and lockdown sweeps the world, many sectors are feeling the economic crunch. Without the daily hustle and bustle on our streets, the physical elements of the retail and leisure market are facing a state of economic hibernation.
Paul Durkin • 08/04/2020
Woman working on laptop in kitchen with glass of milk
Insights • Commentary

Introducing the New Normal

A week is a long time in politics would be a very apt phrase for the current global situation. The change we’ve seen since we shared our last view of the UK real estate market has been dramatic in two ways. 
Andrew Phipps • 07/04/2020
desktop screen at home with iphone with Skype logo
Insights • Commentary

Leadership Resilience

The resilience of our leadership is brought into sharp relief during times of crisis. The nature of the crisis is moot, it’s how people in positions of responsibility respond and the messages they send to their teams, clients, and in the cases of governments around the world, their electorate and the voracious 24-hour news cycle. 
Andrew Phipps • 07/04/2020
black swan
Insights • Commentary

A Catalyst for Change

The problem with black swans, a term coined in this context by the economist, Nassim Taleb, is that by definition they are unpredictable. No amount of business planning can effectively prepare one for something about which we can have no knowledge.
Richard Pickering • 24/03/2020
Bank of England bank notes
Insights • Economy

The Crisis Playbook

Life was normal a month ago. There was a nagging feeling that COVID-19 could change all that, but it wasn’t a big concern. Since then, the unravelling of freedoms we might have taken for granted has been rapid. 
Greg Mansell • 24/03/2020
nurse with gloves and vaccination
Insights • Public / Not-for-Profit

The Public Sector Steps Up

Government and the Public Sector are self evidently at the centre of the COVID-19 response. 
John Keyes • 24/03/2020
UK motorway from above
Insights • Logistics

Challenges and Opportunities in Logistics

Long term strategic logistics and industrial property requirements in the pharmaceutical, nutrition, sports and leisure and the public sector are still progressing regardless of the challenges posed by COVID-19.
laptop screen displaying online restaurant delivery message
Insights • Retail

Retail Strains Shifts and Spikes

Early social-distancing measures for COVID-19 created a dislocation of “normal” consumption patterns, putting retail property at the sharp end of the immediate stresses and strains.
Paul Durkin • 24/03/2020
bank of new white office desks
Insights • Occupier

Office Occupier Decision Making

Only two weeks ago, I met with the CEO of a large London occupier who was looking for new office space in London. He was disappointed by the limited choice of options, surprised by the long lead-in to secure a pre-let and outraged by the increasing rents. 
Ben Cullen • 24/03/2020
London at night from the sky
Insights • Office

Assimilation and Acclimatisation in London Offices

Given the inchoate nature of the COVID-19 situation, last week was a period of assimilation for London offices, with a simple acclimatisation for many to a new way of working for the medium term. 
Richard Howard • 24/03/2020
retail park
Insights • Capital Markets

A Blow to Retail Investor Confidence

Some long awaited confidence had begun to return to the retail capital markets at the beginning of the year with many transactions going under offer and a number exchanging after the prolonged slow down in H2 2019 caused by Brexit uncertainty and the run up to the general election.
Patrick Knapman • 24/03/2020
Canary Wharf skyscrapers
Insights • Investment

Temporary Dislocation for London Investment

COVID-19’s impact on global capital markets this week has been unprecedented. The combined dislocation in equity markets, oil, treasuries and gold/silver moving down in price together, signalled a strong desire for liquidity and freezing credit markets. 
young white man working in cafe with laptop and headphones
Insights • Workplace

Future of Work and Place

COVID-19 will cure our inertia: we have had the technology to work from home for years. Management attitudes have held us back. Trust remains an issue. Modern leaders manage through outputs not presenteeism.
Nicola Gillen • 24/03/2020
Recovery Readniess (image)
Research • Economy

Recovery Readiness

Cushman & Wakefield leads the development of best practices, products and partnerships to prepare clients for post-COVID-19 recovery and the eventual return to the workplace.
EMEA Covid (image)
Insights • Economy

COVID-19 Impacts for EMEA Real Estate

As the global pandemic progresses across borders and within countries our EMEA local market research colleagues will share what they are seeing on the ground in their countries.
Andrew Phipps • 28/05/2020


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