Research released today by Knight Frank confirms that Covid-19 could impact the near-term supply and long-term design of housing around the world.
According to a survey conducted by Knight Frank amongst 160 global developers across 22 nations, almost six in ten global developers have delayed projects in response to the spread of the virus, as it broke down supply chains and prompted a wholesale rethink of how and where people want to live. Of those with delayed projects, more than four in ten are now making changes to designs that were once considered complete.
The level of market activity seen through the crisis globally demonstrates the resilience of demand for housing designed and built prior to the pandemic.
While developers will likely temper their urge to radically reshape development designs initially, Knight Frank’s survey confirms a desire to consider potential Covid-19 inspired changes, including:
- Space for home offices: Three-quarters of developers are more likely to consider advanced telecommunications and space for home offices to allow for continued flexible home working.
- Healthier and greener living: 38% of developers are more likely to consider facilities for bicycles, compared to only 17% that are more likely to consider parking space availability.
- Urban appeal: Whilst 41% of respondents said they would be looking to develop in a mix of locations, cities, second-home and rural areas, 45% said they were more likely to solely focus on cities.
- Mixed-use schemes: A third of developers are considering adjusting the mix of residential and commercial elements in schemes. From rentable desk space and individual pods to business suites, it will be interesting to see what this will look like in practice in the future.
- Closer to home: Following a period of unprecedented restrictions on movement, two in five developers said they would be more likely to be sensitive to the requirements of the domestic market.
- Virtual viewings: Almost two-thirds of respondents see sales geared towards virtual offerings from now on. This enables a more inclusive sales process with buyers able to have the architect or designers speak directly to them, via webinars for example, enabling more interaction with the developer and a better experience.
With housing delivery a high priority in many markets, the research also examined some of the biggest constraints that developers are facing, with funding being the biggest barrier to global development at the moment.
Branded residences have seen a surge in popularity over the last 20 years and the pandemic has highlighted some of the advantages of such developments. From the lock up and leave element to the stringent maintenance procedures offered by foremost hospitality providers. The sector may face some challenges in the wake of Covid-19 but is likely to evolve in new and interesting ways.
See full report here: Knight Franks’s Global Development Report 2020