Demand For London Offices Up 15% Last Month
UNITED KINGDOM – As the government removes COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic subsides, both residential properties and office buildings in London are seeing higher demand, reported Reuters on Monday (21 February, SGT).
In fact, commercial property portal Rightmove said “more businesses are making plans to return to the office, with demand for office space 15 percent higher than in January 2020 before the pandemic started.”
“While some may be downsizing, the emergence of more hybrid working policies and some companies returning to the office full-time means many are looking to upgrade the quality of their office by taking up similar or larger square footage,” it stated in a report.
With COVID curbs being withdrawn, many companies are asking their employees to spend part of their work week in the office. This has compelled staff to consider living within a “comfortable” commuting distance from their workplace.
Rightmove revealed that the number of home hunters enquiring about a residential unit in London rose 24 percent in January from a year earlier, the biggest gain of any region. As for home sellers, they increased their asking prices by 6 percent to a record £667,001 (US$910,000) on average.
The situation is an improvement from 2021, when many companies had to delay their office return because of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The better market environment means businesses are expected to take urgent actions on their office plan and commercial property requirements, with firms contacting real estate agents and office landlords to enquire about office space.