Following the vaccines’ rollout and with Brexit underway, the UK economy readies itself for a supported recovery. More than ever before the face of the high-street is changing. Development has been driven through the acceleration of digital transformation, and the prominent uptake of remote working. The Government has set out initiatives to deregulate some development within towns and city centres. largemortgageloans.com expects to see an increase in more mixed-use properties and new property is sprouting, superseding redundant spaces which were taking up prime space in major city centres. “Investing in the next development cycle before anybody else is critical to investors’ success,” says Paul Welch, CEO of largemortgageloans.com. Read about the Government’s initiative and how property developers can capitalise on ‘deregulating’ measures.
This week a number of UK funders have announced that they will be increasing their bridging LTV (loan to value) allowing a larger window for entry for new investors who may be struggling with a lack of funding for developments in the short-term, stirring activity in the property market.
“London is a city of dynamism, and it will undoubtedly reinvent itself to suit the evolving landscape,” says Paul Welch, CEO of largemortgageloans.com. While for some, the pandemic has raised alarm bells and caused stagnation, we need to consider the bigger picture long-term. The pandemic has allowed us to reflect and review development plans. An upended landscape is like pressing the fast-forward button. Businesses have benefited from reduced costs, streamlined efficiencies and optimised services.
During the pandemic the desolate streets around central London seemed inconsistent with the types of people it attracts. Boris’s announcement for a staggered return to everyday life has provided investors and developers with confidence. The dynamism that London attracts talent from all over to the world will continue.
Like many capital cities across the globe, London is set to be an example of reinvention and endurance as we enter a new development cycle. Despite the toll that the pandemic has taken London will continue to remain an attractive career prospect location. London is an Alpha city that attracts students from all over the UK and the rest of the world. Most graduates plan on staying here after they have finished their studies.
London continues to be the hub for strategic investment, which is set to accelerate in the coming period. Part of the reason for this is because it has the largest number of research institutions in the world and a growing talent pool. “London is predicted to retain its innovative streak, and we have reinvented ourselves before. In this instance, the adage ‘history repeats itself’ sets to remain true.”
London’s property market is fertile ground for overseas investors, where prime commercial stock in major regional cities are in high demand and short supply. Investors from the Middle East, Europe and Latin America have the most appetite for investing overseas, with the UK’s property market set to be the property honey pot. London plans for the Crossrail, which will be operational by 2022 will also promote growth.
Aside from this, the London Mayor’s plans to change London into the world’s smartest city continues in the background. The Mayor’s pledge to improve air quality came to fruition during the lockdown. Roads in central London restricted car access and TfL has set out plans to make a series of trial changes, including extending the new Cycleway 4 route to enable safer essential journeys between London Bridge, Rotherhithe and beyond.
The past year exposed shortfalls in cities over the globe. London is expected to set the standard. With more focus on digitalisation and sustainability, there is a consensus that reshaping our homes and workspaces into healthier, more agile environments is the way forward. The wellness industry across global real estate will be an opportunity sought after by developers and investors across many cities.
The UK has always been a global trendsetter for flexible working, navigating the ever-changing demand for office space. Investors can expect pockets of potential. More employees working from their homes’ comfort doesn’t necessarily mean that business will require less office space. However, modular plan offices may be more suited to an open plan layout to utilise the space, as employee density is expected to become sparser. The future of the offices is not dead, it is in the process of being remodelled. “London now needs to improve its ability to adapt, scale and amplify the best innovation to keep offices relevant. Some of the new developments I have seen underway are conceptually unique. The decarbonisation of buildings will also be a primary objective.” says Paul Welch.
The Emergence of Local Hub Offices
With remote or hybrid working models that would continue to prevail once measures are lifted, largemortgageloans.com expects to see the emergence of flexible local offices sprouting all over town and city centres. “We expect local offices to be remodelled. We expect to see an amalgamation of cafes, gyms, meeting spaces and social areas. These co-working spaces will incorporate a sense of lifestyle. We are innately sociable animals, and while we want the flexibility and convenience of working close to home, there is also a desire to have a dedicated space for working separate from your living room,” says Paul Welch, CEO of largemortgageloans.com
UK-wide measures have strongly hit the retail sector against the pandemic, however, forecasts point towards a couple of positive changes. Large developments are expected to outperform on a large scale. Experts note that the process of reshaping retail spaces will be an exciting prospect for investors and developers and one that will require a forward-thinking approach.