How are cities looking to adapt to the new age?

22nd October 2021

By Will Leyland

It’s a somewhat broad, far-reaching question. Many cities already have adapted or are in the process of adapting to a new post-COVID reality.

And what exactly do we mean by ‘adapting’? In this instance, we’re referring to the reality of working from home, reduced working hours, new jobs and massively reduced footfall.

When we talk about a post-COVID reality, we should be a little clearer. It can’t have passed many of us by that the vast majority are, to some extent, now working from home, at least on a part time basis. As reported by Sky News, ONS statistics have suggested that a huge 25.9% of people are now working from home full time, as opposed to just 12.4% in 2019.

That may not reflect the true picture as this only includes people working from home full time, and as we know many are now included in what’s known as ‘hybrid working’ or, in other words, having their time split between working from home and going into the office.

Not just that, however, we need to consider the amount of people who have now changed jobs, and also those who have now moved out of cities altogether after finding how much easier and cheaper it is travelling from outside urban centres.

It should also be said that smaller cities are much better equipped to deal with this change thanks to shorter commuting distances and lower living costs. So which cities do we mean?

In an article for Wired, Margaret Taylor discusses the implications of the new post-COVID style of working – namely London and its financial and business hub, Canary Wharf.

She describes the issue by saying, “If a recent report from property consultancy JLL is anything to go by, the impact across the Canary Wharf estate could be dramatic. Almost three-quarters of employees told JLL they wanted to continue working from home on a regular basis, with most wanting to do so for at least two days every week. Individually, each of these moves would have a significant impact on footfall in Canary Wharf; collectively they could wreak havoc.”

This succinctly sums up the issue for much larger cities like London but which, surprisingly, don’t seem to be affecting the cities of the north, which had much more robust and resilient work forces that were in more modern and tech-focused industries anyway.

Manchester serves as an excellent example where, to the average resident, things appear to be largely back to normal. One explanation appears to be that many of those that joined the exodus from London have actually moved north of the country.

But what does this all mean? In practice, and in relative terms to those interested and invested in property, it means that London average rents and housing demand are plummeting whilst the cities in the north are rocketing.

There’s very little evidence to suggest even a slight dip in the north and, in fact, the evidence points to a sustained increase in both property prices and rental demand.

Taken in isolation, this should be considered very encouraging news for property investors in the north.

Looking to invest in Manchester? Take a look at our latest investment opportunity there Fifty5ive

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How are cities looking to adapt to the new age?

22 October 2021

It’s a somewhat broad, far-reaching question. Many cities already have adapted or are in the process of adapting to a new post-COVID reality.

And what exactly do we mean by ‘adapting’? In this instance, we’re referring to the reality of working from home, reduced working hours, new jobs and massively reduced footfall.

When we talk about a post-COVID reality, we should be a little clearer. It can’t have passed many of us by that the vast majority are, to some extent, now working from home, at least on a part time basis. As reported by Sky News, ONS statistics have suggested that a huge 25.9% of people are now working from home full time, as opposed to just 12.4% in 2019.

That may not reflect the true picture as this only includes people working from home full time, and as we know many are now included in what’s known as ‘hybrid working’ or, in other words, having their time split between working from home and going into the office.

Not just that, however, we need to consider the amount of people who have now changed jobs, and also those who have now moved out of cities altogether after finding how much easier and cheaper it is travelling from outside urban centres.

It should also be said that smaller cities are much better equipped to deal with this change thanks to shorter commuting distances and lower living costs. So which cities do we mean?

In an article for Wired, Margaret Taylor discusses the implications of the new post-COVID style of working – namely London and its financial and business hub, Canary Wharf.

She describes the issue by saying, “If a recent report from property consultancy JLL is anything to go by, the impact across the Canary Wharf estate could be dramatic. Almost three-quarters of employees told JLL they wanted to continue working from home on a regular basis, with most wanting to do so for at least two days every week. Individually, each of these moves would have a significant impact on footfall in Canary Wharf; collectively they could wreak havoc.”

This succinctly sums up the issue for much larger cities like London but which, surprisingly, don’t seem to be affecting the cities of the north, which had much more robust and resilient work forces that were in more modern and tech-focused industries anyway.

Manchester serves as an excellent example where, to the average resident, things appear to be largely back to normal. One explanation appears to be that many of those that joined the exodus from London have actually moved north of the country.

But what does this all mean? In practice, and in relative terms to those interested and invested in property, it means that London average rents and housing demand are plummeting whilst the cities in the north are rocketing.

There’s very little evidence to suggest even a slight dip in the north and, in fact, the evidence points to a sustained increase in both property prices and rental demand.

Taken in isolation, this should be considered very encouraging news for property investors in the north.

Looking to invest in Manchester? Take a look at our latest investment opportunity there Fifty5ive

Will Leyland

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