After two years of unprecedented challenges faced by real estate, experts share their predictions for 2022.
Chief executive, Carter Jonas
Sometimes to move forward, it helps to look back. So, despite recent setbacks because of the pandemic, I hope that our business and the wider industry takes heart from what has been achieved in the past 12 months. Even in the most challenging circumstances, our ability to adapt and pull together has enabled us to deliver some great results. Because of this, I remain optimistic for the year ahead.
Anticipated announcements on new housing policy and the levelling-up agenda, alongside structural shifts, some of them solidified by the pandemic, present opportunities as we work to address fresh challenges.
We have already seen a polarisation in the office sector between grade-A space and poorer-quality stock, with workforce-related and environmental issues underpinning the market. Additionally, initiatives to help high streets bounce back and local centres to succeed are being found.
We all have a role to play in contributing to the UK’s recovery. But for now, I am inspired by the resilience shown by our industry over the past year.
Chief executive, Public Sector Plc
The social and environmental impact of property development will become more prominent in 2022 with finance helping to drive this through sustainability-linked loans.
Clients are increasingly attuned to ESG and working with businesses with aligned values. Carbon reduction and sustainability will feature strongly in real estate decision-making as we build up to COP27. Organisations will consider rationalising and retrofitting their assets, given the impact that a reduced estate can have on carbon footprint.
One of the biggest challenges will be how the industry can adapt to ensure affordable housing is environmentally future-proofed, particularly where financial viability is challenging. I expect more of an alliance between the public and private sector to help unlock development.
Solving homelessness and the lack of affordable housing will require deeper collaboration and I hope 2022 is the year we will make greater strides to achieving it.
Chief executive, Audley Group
Last year was the year when the potential of retirement living was truly recognised and 2022 will see this momentum kept up, with continued investment in the sector and government-led change to support increased provision of retirement living options for people across the UK.
The social care white paper paved the way for this, but we cannot wait years and years for action. I believe that in 2022, the government will acknowledge this and remove the barriers to give more older people access to the specialist housing they so clearly want and need. It is not about money. Regulatory change – like assigning integrated retirement communities with a standalone planning classification or mandating the provision of housing for older people in local planning land allocation – would allow providers to build more, more quickly.
This is not a year to stand still on retirement living. There is an opportunity to seize.
Head of real estate advisory, Apex Group
We can expect 2022 to be a defining year for the UK funds industry, spurred by government delivering once-in-a-generation fund regime reforms and facilitating the opportunities for the industry to transition to net zero.
Twinned with funds regime reforms will be the UK implementing into law ambitious climate change targets; the greening of the funds sector will play a vital part. UK fund management houses will be critically assessed – by regulators, investors and other stakeholders – on their ESG credentials, with climate and environmental considerations having to become central to manager decisions.
We can hopefully look forward to a consensus-focused engagement between industry and regulators to address the challenges with significant reliance on robust and consistent climate-risk disclosures.
Keep an eye on these transformative dynamics as the UK reinforces its global leadership: as a funds centre of excellence and for a sustainable investment future.
Predictions for 2022: Brace yourself…
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Predictions for 2022: Brace yourself (part thirty-three)