Work-from-home, by general consensus, seems set to stay. Many organisations have embraced the “new normal”, enjoying the perks of lower monthly overheads. Does this mean that it’s time to ditch your commercial property investment? Not by any means, says Park Village Auctions’ Director, Roy Lazarus.
“The need for commercial office space has not diminished but changed. Property investors who are quick to adapt to today’s workspace requirements are sure to prosper,” explains Lazarus.
According to Lazarus, companies acknowledge that while WFH (work-from-home) provides numerous benefits, there are still organisational needs that cannot be fulfilled outside of the office. For this reason, co-working spaces are proliferating.
Lazarus: “Organisations still need a base to call home. There exists a real need for employees and executives to meet around the table from time to time. Some sales functions simply do not have a virtual substitute.
“This is why businesses have chosen to reduce their physical office space but not relinquish it entirely. They have adopted a ‘hot desk’ model, giving employees the flexibility to rotate between home and a conducive work environment.
“We’ve noticed that savvy investors are eyeing out commercial property that can be sub-divided easily. Office buildings with a boardroom on each floor, in particular, perform well. It seems that where tenants would previously take a block or two within an office park, they now opt for a few offices and shared boardrooms.”
Before the pandemic, property consultancy JLL forecasted that flexible workspace would take up “30% of total office workspace by the year 2030”, as reported by Real Estate Investor Magazine.
“Due to the recent decline in office property sales, and the perception that demand relative to supply remain weak, property sector strategists foresee a dip in office property values over the short to medium term,” says Lazarus. He concludes, “However, after almost 40 years in real estate, I can say with confidence that what goes down will inevitably come up. Seasoned investors know that property is a long-term game.”