2022 Trends in Real Estate – Still On Track?




James Ralph

At Good Relations we run the ‘Challenger Sessions‘, a programme of events designed to champion challenger brand thinking and creativity in the earned space. 
The following article explores discussions from our event: “Boom or bust? Predictions on key trends in property for 2022” led by Property Director at Good Relations, James Ralph, featuring guest speakers Alex Daniel at Estates Gazette and Chris Fair at Resonance Consulting, who gave their predictions on the trends to watch out for in 2022 as the industry sets out on its road to recovery post-lockdown.
For a copy of this recording or to join our events guestlist, please get in touch.

As we hit the midpoint of January, it is interesting to look back at the pre-Christmas predictions we made in our final thought leadership event of last year.

During this webinar, I was joined by the extremely talented Alex Daniels of Estates Gazette and the highly respected President of Resonance Consulting, Chris Fair.

Together we attempted to set out our predictions on what the coming 12 months would hold for the world of real estate.

As we look ahead to the likely prospect of the UK becoming the first Western economy to reach the point where Covid switches from pandemic to endemic, Chris’ prediction that London holds some of the strongest investment prospects for the year ahead looks especially well informed.

Likewise Alex’s flag that following months of delay due to uncertainty, growing confidence from dealing with Delta and then overcoming Omicron has seen deals reigniting, already this year we’ve seen our first billion dollar deal for London of the new year with Google acquiring its Covent Garden office in a clear vote of confidence for the future of the office.

As Chris discussed, the office is far from dead, and while hybrid working may see fewer in the centres that displacement of economic activity to the cafes, restaurants and gyms of the surrounding areas means new opportunities. I think what we’re seeing here is not an either/or option around offices and services for central London workers, but rather an and/and situation, where the peaks of Friday lunchtimes in the City will be spread more evenly through the week and the suburbs.

For communicators looking to instil confidence in investors and stakeholders, this move on from a crisis to an opportunity mindset is important. As I discussed at our webinar, Donald Rumsfeld was much maligned for his “known unknowns” but it’s something worth considering as we emerge into the new normal.

Within each of our sectors we can be increasingly certain of which uncertainties we’ll face over the next 12 months. Retail is recovering, hospitality is still under pressure, office rents are anticipated to fall, but long term reshaping is needed. Successful leaders such as Jace Tyrrell of the New West End Company and Cindy Andersen of Ingka Centres haven’t got bogged down in uncertainty, they’ve challenged assumptions about the impact and the pandemic, maintained their focus on their long-term vision, and used live data to demonstrate control of the situation.

Retail is recovering, hospitality is still under pressure, office rents are anticipated to fall, but long term reshaping is needed.

If you’d like to discuss how any of the points relate to your own communication goals, please get in touch or read more about our services here.

James Ralph
James Ralph

Director, Property

James is a specialist in helping translate technical expertise into compelling stories that engage businesses, the public and key stakeholders. As Director of Good Relation’s property and finance team, he plays a key role in the Thought Leadership Project, helping industry leaders explain the commercial relevance of their innovations.

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James Ralph

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