Coronavirus Blog Series:
RICS Commercial Property Survey
Published 11 August 2020
A recent commercial property survey by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that 93% of their members anticipated that businesses across the UK will be scaling back their office space within the next two years.
The survey also found that 64% of members felt that offices may relocate from urban areas and into suburban areas. A move away from a city environment, combined with the rise in people working from home, could result in a growth of town centres and a revival of local high-streets.
Hew Edgar, Head of Government relations for RICS, believes that this may result in a hollowing out of city centres – essentially a “polo mint” effect. In a recent BBC News article, Mr Edgar commented that: “Offices and shops in city centres need support as people stay away from their normal workplace, and although local shop hubs are benefitting, the market must be addressed as a whole.”
RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn, further commented: “For a lot of businesses they are thinking about that opportunity to move towards suburban locations. We’re looking at a very different model going forward.”
The survey also suggests that there may be a shift to ‘higher quality’ office space going forward, with more focus on well-being and sustainability.