My world: June 2021…
This is part of a series of articles where our contributors describe how they think things will look a year from now.
Next time we have a crisis, let’s not wait until the barbarian is at the door
So often, we don’t react early enough to the full implications of a crisis – a classic human characteristic of not acting until the barbarian is at the door. I understand the barbarian is coming, but he’s not here yet so I don’t need to react… The barbarian is closer but he’s not here yet, so let’s carry on… Oh look, he’s at the door – quick, do something!
I see parallels in the response to covid-19: It’s in Wuhan but not here/I won’t get it/it’s probably like flu, so I’ll carry on working in the office… Oh look, it’s here, highly infectious and making people seriously ill – quick, do something/everyone get into lockdown!
And similarly with the high-street retail crisis caused by Amazon enabling the transition to online retailing: People like shopping/it might mean a few high-street retailers don’t survive, but others will take their place with more in-demand products… Anyone remember Kodak?
So how does this relate to my world of global real estate investment? Well, in my view, the impact of covid-19 will cause changes to the use of buildings. What might they be? I will focus on two significant changes that I think likely to occur, though I could easily identify more (an increase in online higher education, for instance).