14 July 2020

Forsters and UK Israel Business host Real Estate Breakfast event on investment, development and financing

On 7 July Forsters and UK Israel Business hosted an online Real Estate Breakfast event to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the commercial and residential UK markets, with particular regard to investments, development and financing.

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With Mark Prevezer, Senior Consultant in our Commercial Real Estate team, moderating the discussion, we heard expert opinion from Ben Barbanel, Head of Debt Finance of OakNorth Bank, Kate Davies, CEO of Notting Hill Genesis and Neville Kahn, co-founder of Blandford Capital LLP.

The key takeaways from the session include:

  • There is likely to be a move by the the young inner London urbanites currently in trendy cool areas to the suburbs/M25 circle. Why? Because they may now realise they probably want more space to work, a bigger living area and they can live with a commute if it is say for only a few days a week.
  • The requirement for office space by tenants is likely to be reduced - why take 6 floors when it is now proven only 3 is possibly needed? As staff can work from home, costs can be reduced and productivity possibly remain the same.
  • Brexit and it’s economic impact has been currently forgotten - but is going to rear its head in the near future - to add another hit on the economy
  • Retail, shopping centres, leisure industry (including clubs, bars and restaurants) in serious trouble
  • Logistics, senior care, residential (in suburbs and M25 circle) and nurseries probably safer investments
  • The power is likely to shift from landlords to tenants. Terms, rents, length of demise, break clauses, size of space and so on.
  • Work patterns are likely to shift - as cost savings for employers may mean they will encourage employees to work from home. Similarly some employees may decide they like the current working environment, and may opt for a different life style and work/life balance.

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