In March, governments around the world introduced strict lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing property managers into crisis management mode. Shuttered shops and restaurants, empty offices and idle construction sites were just some of the signs of the impact of the virus on the real-estate market. Since then, lockdown restrictions have eased, but many continue to work from home as the world continues its fight against Covid-19.
For the real-estate market, the virus also put the challenges that were already facing the industry under the spotlight, such as, creating a stock of affordable housing and improving housing conditions. But amid the crisis, can we build a better future?
In this episode of Amplified, Kirsty Wilman, Strategic Projects Director in Private Markets, and Ben Sanderson, Executive Director – Fund Manager, reflect on conversations with their colleagues at Federated Hermes as well as external guests over the summer months.
For Wilman, there was already an underlying trend towards flexible working and working from home. “It will be fascinating to see what this means for the future of how we work flexibly and the future of the office. Are we going to be working from home more in the future? Or are we going to be working in local hubs?” she asks. Wilman also highlights the importance of “adaptability and flexibility” in using the spaces we already have to meet our changing needs as consumers, workers and residents.
Meanwhile, Sanderson highlights how lifestyles have changed since the onset of the pandemic. “People had to turn their homes into offices and so, their homes became more important. In many ways, the discrepancies and disparities between the quality of housing became real during this period. People with poorer quality homes struggled compared to those with large, high-quality housing in terms of home-schooling and working from home,” he explained.
This podcast features contributions from Ed Sellick, Director of Asset Management, Will Gibby, Global Residential Fund Manager, and Emily Bird, Fund Manager, as well as external guests, David Dix, Principal and Portfolio Manager at the Townsend Group, and Richard Stonehouse, Principal and Head of Residential Investment at Avison Young.
What lies ahead for the real-estate market? To find out, tune in to Amplified.