“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”For a nation battling with working-from-home fatigue, this statement from Aristotle takes on a new meaning. As we edge closer to the anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown, office-based professionals are desperate to regroup with colleagues.
Despite chatter about ‘the death of the office’, working from home, for some, simply underscores the importance of working from the office. As such, for investors keen to look beyond lockdown 3.0 and to the in-bound opportunities, there is activity in the making and Q1 and Q2 is the time to keep your eyes peeled.
Positive market murmurs
We have begun to hear some rather less negative talk across the London office market. Before Christmas, peers noted that some grade A offices were reporting an increase in tenant enquiries. This concerned a group of largely branded offices in well-established business areas in London such as King’s Cross and Farringdon, which have well-connected national and international transport links nearby and are equipped with a wide variety of amenities that suit the modern-day professional, such as breakout areas and fitness spaces. There were also signs that an increasing number of tenants were taking the opportunity to upgrade to better-quality space and to accommodate for social distancing. Clearly, high-end spaces that incentivise workers to return post lockdown may well be in demand in 2021.
Now, post Christmas and set against the backdrop of the vaccination rollout, we are seeing peers, clients and colleagues determined to be forward-looking. Despite another lockdown, some areas of the market seem to be focusing on the light at the end of the covid tunnel, resolute that activity will not stall as it did last March.