Beware of hasty and alarmist predictions. This crisis does not call into question the sector’s fundamentals and key trends. The current period is however a good opportunity for a strategic deepening of landlord-tenant relations.
In such unprecedented circumstances, it is still difficult to accurately predict the impact of COVID-19 on real estate. Nonetheless, we do not consider this crisis a threat to the sector’s resilience and its underlying long-term trends: growth of large metropolitan areas, the appeal of city centres and transport hubs where demand exceeds supply, urban densification with taller buildings to curb urban sprawl and promote sustainable development.
Despite new health concerns, the widely predicted urban exodus, with people shunning big-city apartment blocks in favour of country homes with a garden, is somewhat perplexing. Over the past few decades people have increasingly turned their back on rural areas for far-reaching sociological and economic reasons. In addition, there are very often personal and family obstacles preventing such relocation.
The limits of teleworking
Teleworking, which it is claimed will affect office space, also clearly has its limits, including its incompatibility with family life over the long term. In any event, working from home will not exceed one to two days a week. While this crisis will cause us to reflect on the best way to use space, we remain “social animals”, attached to our workplace. We like sharing, and appreciate impromptu meetings, where we sometimes have our best ideas.