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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.
In Part 10 of COVID-19: UK Real Estate Perspectives we look at the opportunities to be found through collaboration, as the economic data begins to draw a picture of what lies ahead for the UK. 

The education sector has experienced some significant challenges during the pandemic. Sarah Jones, Partner in the Public Sector Advisory team addresses the key areas that UK universities will focus on in ‘The Future of Tertiary Education’ including international students, social distancing and the impacts of online learning. How will universities navigate a new era where guaranteed income is no longer a given? 

As the economic fallout becomes clearer, Greg Mansell, Head of UK Research & Insight addresses a series of critical questions in; ‘Planning for a Sustained Economic Recovery’. What impact will the fiscal stimulus announced in the Summer Statement have? Which of the policies matter to our industry? What will come in the Autumn budget? 

Local and central government have a unique opportunity to deliver strategic and local infrastructure argues John Keyes, Chair of Public Sector, in ‘What is the role of local government in delivering infrastructure spending? How can this be achieved and what should the Chancellor do next?’  

Richard Pickering, Chief Strategy Officer, UK asks whether it is risk, or risk aversion that will be the more damaging in the path ahead? He argues that the flawed nature of human decision making makes a case for the latter in ‘Is risk aversion more damaging than demand shock?’ 


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

Latest UK COVID-19 Trends & Insights

Warwick university
Insights • Education

The Future of Tertiary Education

Universities are facing an unprecedented shock. What happens in the next 3 months, and how well universities can adapt, will define the severity of impact of COVID-19 on the whole academic year 2020. 
Sarah Jones • 29/07/2020
Leeds North Star cafe closure COVID-19
Insights • Economy

Planning for a Sustained Economic Recovery

As the UK Government plans to get economic recovery underway, there is a fantastic opportunity for the real estate industry to ensure long-lasting positive change while we have the Government’s attention.
Greg Mansell • 29/07/2020
cyclist at UK train station holding newspaper with 5G ad
Insights • Public / Not-for-Profit

What is the Role of Local Government in Delivering Infrastructure?

A positive, mutually respectful, appropriately balanced relationship between local government, central government and the private sector is essential to the UK's recovery and could also produce positive, long term and overdue changes.
John Keyes • 29/07/2020
woman leaping at Big Sur, California
Insights • Commentary

Is risk aversion more damaging than demand shock?

What does ‘risk’ actually mean? And do we have more to fear from these new risks themselves, or instead from the way that we choose to respond to them? 
Richard Pickering • 29/07/2020

Earlier UK COVID-19 Trends & Insights

London streets
Insights • Retail

A plea to retailers and landlords on turnover rents

It is really is tough out there and if you are working in leisure/F&B, that is another level of pain. From working with both retailers and landlords it is clear that neither realise how bad it is for the other. The current leasing model is broken, Covid-19 has just accelerated is demise. So, where do we go from here? 

Richard Ching • 15/07/2020
Computer business
Insights • Commentary

Is work coming home

COVID-19 has significantly impacted how we work, live and play over recent months. Particularly the work and live elements have converged as people set up offices in the living room.  Looking forwards, what legacy might this create on where we live and how we adapt our homes to integrate more home working into our routine?  
Charles Whitworth • 15/07/2020
map with pins
Insights • Commentary

Location, environment and culture

Location, location, location, to steal the title of the eponymous long running Channel 4 series, is what it’s all about…or perhaps not. Coming out of lockdown location of course remains of critical importance, but perhaps not in the way you might think. Location in this context is very much about the location of people as opposed to property. 
Andrew Phipps • 15/07/2020
London tube
Insights • Commentary

Turning off the commute and redistributing value

Over the past two centuries, public transport, and in particular the train, has had a huge influence on how our cities have been shaped. Major infrastructure projects such as the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (1830) and the Metropolitan Railway (1863), joined cities together and facilitated the explosion of the suburbs.
Richard Pickering • 15/07/2020
Cranes, Stratford East London
Insights • Office

Is This End Of The Development Cycle?

The lockdown measures implemented by the Government to control the spread of coronavirus have had a profound effect on office development activity.
Patrick Scanlon • 01/07/2020
Shoreditch coffee house
Insights • Retail

Restarting F&B

Restarting hospitality is in all of our best interests: 25% of UK’s GDP drop in April was due to the hospitality sector being on hold. We review the creativity and challenges involved. 
Paul Durkin • 01/07/2020
graph and numbers on blue screen
Insights • Investment

Will COVID-19 Affect Ownership Patterns for UK Real Estate?

Catalysts for distress, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, often lead to changes of ownership composition within the UK property market. Some investors see this distress as a buying opportunity whereas others will sell as assets re-price and risk perceptions alter. 
Jason Winfield • 01/07/2020
Insights • Commentary

Changing Our Planning System for a Modern Age

After the horrors of WW2, visionaries dared to plan a new and better urban future. The planning system was born. Now a new future beckons and the Government is about to shake things up. Read here 5 things they should do and why.  
Richard Pickering • 01/07/2020
shoppers on an escalator
Insights • Retail

Retail & Leisure Trends In Europe

A snapshot of the current physical retail and leisure landscape across Europe and which retail sectors are seeing early recovery.
Yvonne Court • 22/06/2020
coins and screen with numbers
Insights • Commentary

You Don't Own Your Reputation, You Rent It.

The Government has formed a working group with organisations in the commercial rental sector and has announced its plans to publish a Code of Practice for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses and landlords before the June payment day (24 June). 
Nick Ridley • 22/06/2020
Coronavirus / Covid-19 cases in Italy, Milan, Rome. (9.04.2020) Source: Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at JHU
Insights • Workplace

COVID-19 & Data to Reimagine the Workplace

Despina Katsikakis, Head of Occupier Business Performance reveals the data driven trends around productivity, culture, wellbeing and diversity that will shape the future office.
Despina Katsikakis • 22/06/2020
man holding bank card in front of laptop
Insights • Retail

Will Moving To Online Kill Your Business Model?

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve been told retailers need to move to online. But what if moving to online kills your business model?
Tim Crighton • 22/06/2020
smartly dressed man with coffee
Insights • Commentary

Addressing the Widening Inequalities Created by Real Estate

How can the real estate industry start to tackle inequality? We work in an industry that is about creating wealth for investors, and this might seem like a diametric opposition to the challenge. However, it is worth remembering that today’s landowners are in effect you and me.
Richard Pickering • 22/06/2020
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
office rooftop garden with raised beds
Insights • Office

Rethinking Place

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 • 02/06/2020
Putney High Street, London
Insights • Retail

A New Era For The High Street?

For those dodging the daily commute, but without the desire or capability to work effectively from home the local high street may well become the new “office”. 
Paul Durkin • 02/06/2020
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 • 16/09/2020


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