What happens next? Stephen Clifton’s reforecast for 2020 and beyond

The unique shock of Covid-19 and its unprecedented scale make forecasting its impact difficult. This presents challenges for all aspects of commercial real estate, even without the travel restrictions now in place.

But core, income-producing real estate stands up well against volatile equity markets and low-yielding bonds. The UK is a well-established, transparent, global safe haven, which investors seek in times of uncertainty. London is one of the most liquid commercial real estate markets in the world.

If anything, Covid-19 is accelerating existing structural changes, such as the shift towards ESG investing, and we continue to see transactional interest.

We expect a renewed focus on innovation: in a lower-growth environment, innovation drives growth and supports the population and wealth needed for well-functioning real estate markets. Innovative organisation, focused on sectors such as life sciences, will make breakthroughs, attract swathes of funding and generate new demand for space.