After two years of unprecedented challenges faced by real estate, experts share their predictions for 2022.
Chief executive, Cadogan
The pandemic has fervently underlined the power of community and the importance of partnerships. We will do all we can to continue building on this extraordinary spirit and passion for localism that has really ensured the resilience of Chelsea.
Physical retail is at a truly exciting point as brands invest further in their bricks-and-mortar presence in prime locations. Leisure is more crucial than ever as part of holistic destination appeal, including great places to eat, drink and stay, of course, but also celebratory events, cultural richness and plenty of places just to ‘be’ – we intend to build on the 900 alfresco seats that we introduced, that brought such vibrancy to the spaces between our buildings.
We also plan to make significant steps forward with our Chelsea 2030 ESG strategy. The transformative ‘20s must be the era we all work together to deliver significant positive environmental change.
Chief executive, Hammerson
Amid all the headlines, there has been brilliant cross-sector work to reinvigorate our destinations. We have had thought-provoking conversations with occupiers to support their needs in an increasingly omnichannel offering, creating a space that allows for inspiring new concepts and that accelerates innovation for everyone.
At Hammerson, recognising new ways of shopping and socialising was key in 2021. Our destinations are uniquely positioned to adapt to these changes. We partnered with immersive sports and entertainment brands to reposition our destinations, exemplified by the signing of TOCA Social at Birmingham’s Bullring, among many others.
In 2022, we will continue this placemaking as evolving trends continue to influence how we live – a great physical connection and experience for all our occupiers is key. Across our UK assets, we will pass many milestones as we prepare for major structural shifts and begin making new investments to evolve and reposition our places.
There will also be an opportunity for Birmingham to fulfil its potential as it is thrust on to the world stage during the Commonwealth Games. Young and diverse, it remains one of the UK’s most exciting cities for investment.
Chief executive, fund management, Tritax Big Box
The economic fallout from Covid has only intensified the pressure on profitability for businesses. We expect more companies to seek ways to lower unit costs. This will involve consolidating disparate units to larger, more efficient, multi-floor regional or national distribution centres. Such innovation can produce significant cost benefits through economies of scale and optimisation of staffing and stock levels.
There will be more demand for greater automation and technology to stock and retrieve products, driving efficiency as systems handle large volumes of omnichannel orders and returns. There is the added importance for tenants of improving sustainability through more efficient building structures and reduced travel time.
Recent Cushman & Wakefield research showed available warehouse space across the UK at the lowest level since 2009. We saw record demand for warehouse space in the first three quarters of 2021, against the backdrop of relatively inelastic supply. This is driving growth in rents, which are outstripping inflation. We expect this to continue in 2022.
Chief operating officer and co-founder, Précis Capital Partners
After a successful launch last year, we’re envisaging an extremely busy 2022. We have a very strong deal pipeline of financing opportunities for new developments across the whole range of subsectors that together comprise the residential sector. The asset class has performed strongly through the pandemic, underpinned by the longstanding mismatch between supply and demand for housing.
This also reflects the strong year residential had in 2021, with strong demand and price growth for build-to-sell projects, high occupancy rates and attractive yields on operational assets. Together these provide attractive fundamentals for owner-occupiers, and investors looking to diversify from other asset classes experiencing disruption and uncertainty.
As with so many other market trends, the pandemic has accelerated the movement to a more sustainable built environment. We look forward to helping our clients transition to more environmentally and socially sustainable buildings through our green finance product.
Predictions for 2022: Brace yourself…
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Predictions for 2022: Brace yourself (part nineteen)