One Year On, This Is What Covid Has Done To UK Real Estate
On March 16, 2020, Boris Johnson, the prime minister, appeared on television to tell the nation that all nonessential social contact had to cease as a result of the accelerating coronavirus infection rate. A week later, a full national lockdown was instituted, and if there had been any doubt before, the UK realised it had an unprecedented problem to deal with.
A year of work-from-home orders, lockdowns and social distancing has hit the UK commercial real estate sector hard — but what does the data say about the impact of the first 365 days of the pandemic? Investment volumes dropped, but not by nearly as much as after Lehman's collapse or after the Brexit vote. Store closures were high, albeit no higher than in 2019, and retail values continued to plunge.
But for the first time in more than a decade, unemployment haunted real estate professionals, and lease lengths plunged precipitously. Here are the key numbers that highlight the damage Covid-19 has done.