From pandemic to purpose
As we welcomed in a new year, the defining issue of the next decade looked set to be sustainability. The rise of ESG – Environment, Social, Governance – was no flash in the pan; it was now a guiding principle for global investors and institutions. Responding to the climate crisis was a priority. And then COVID-19 changed everything.
Few would have predicted quite how quickly the world would be turned upside down by a global pandemic, the like of which has not been seen for a century or more. The human cost and individual tragedies have been indescribable. The economic and social impact unprecedented. Cities have become ghost towns. Millions are working from home, not offices. Retail, leisure and travel sectors have been particularly hard hit.
And yet, in some ways, the events of 2020 have accelerated changes that were already gathering momentum. For the real estate sector there is now an opportunity to reset.
For the first time, our research this year polls not only over 240 leaders across the real estate sector, but over 1,500 senior office occupiers with decision making responsibility for property issues, and over 500 global institutional investors. It takes a detailed look at market reaction to the pandemic and the lasting impact it could have on the office asset class and the way in which we will adapt to our new working environment. We will also explore real estate’s journey from pandemic to purpose, as sustainability and social impact set the agenda for the sector.
This is our eighth annual report where we look to the future, address key issues facing the real estate sector and explore market trends. We hope you enjoy reading it.