After two years of unprecedented challenges faced by real estate, experts share their predictions for 2022.
Chief executive, HUB
Last year, build to rent (BTR) in the UK took a quantum leap in maturity. In October, Savills reported £2.7bn had been invested in UK BTR in the year to date. With the market having proven itself, investment flows will continue this year, along with increased market pressures.
Now a large number of schemes are complete and successfully let, investors have good evidence for healthy rent levels being achieved by the right products. Metropolitan BTR in particular is proving that consumers are attracted to the right curated amenities and design qualities, and to the lifestyle it delivers.
With increased activity comes increased responsibility: we will prioritise environmental, social and governance in 2022 and ask our partners to support this. BTR owner-operators and developers will consolidate into fewer, more professional players. Meanwhile, competition for sites will increase. As I forecast last year, BTR is reinvigorating city centres, which is good news for communities recovering from the pandemic.
Director, Tigrou Consulting, and board member, Freehold
The return to face-to-face meetings and events for a while in 2021 helped spark ideas and innovation – may we see more of this in 2022, while recognising and respecting individual needs on the safety of leaving the home. In 2021, a number of organisations approached us looking to host us or collaborate. May our network expand even more and Freehold return to running in-person events and meetings safely.
Hybrid working is the new norm and we need spaces that support this. We must encourage space designers and decision-makers to consider and consult with minority groups – ensuring genuine diversity in creating workplaces of the future. There has been a marked change in the attitudes of our industry leaders over the past few years, with inclusion rising up the agenda and filtering through the culture of businesses. Let’s build on this momentum and embed these inclusive values across the whole industry.
Head of UK, CC Land
Businesses will continue to be anchored around the office in 2022, but how the space is used will change. In highest demand will be quality space designed for collaboration and creativity. This offers more than a working-from-home setup and gives employees a reason to come into the office.
Landlords will also need to consider the depth of their engagement with occupiers. We have introduced many event-based services to our portfolio, which enable us to keep in touch with tenants both virtually and in person. They improve our level of engagement with them and ultimately offer better returns, even if indirectly through lower occupancy churn.
People will continue to be drawn back to London by its retail, dining and entertainment options and, as developers and investors, we need to ensure that we are curating world-class destinations that supplement London’s internationally renowned offering.
Head of digital and technology enablement, CBRE UK&I
CBRE UK went on a digital transformation journey in 2021 and data and digital will continue to be a priority in 2022. The data-driven insights captured in our reimagined Henrietta House office in London will be a huge enabler for us to manage our building, people and clients more effectively in 2022.
Digital transformation is at the heart of our strategy; it’s not just about providing brilliant technologies, but also about enabling our people to have data-driven conversations, optimising and automating repetitive processes and creating space and channels to bring ideas to life. This will allow innovative thinking to take shape and most importantly make it simple for people to understand and enjoy the journey.
This year will be a very exciting one for the business and I can’t wait to continue the journey and further help to digitally enable our people, processes and technology.
Predictions for 2022: Brace yourself…
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Predictions for 2022: Brace yourself (part twenty-two)