Publications

- October 1, 2020: Vol. 14, Number 9

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A polarised city

by Jonathan Gilbert

Benjamin Disraeli, who twice served as Prime Minister of the UK in the 19th century, once said that “London is a roost for every bird”. Indeed, the city has been home to some of the world’s largest banks and businesses, and a hub of economic activity, for centuries. But, as the dust of the lockdown settles and many workers begin a phased return to city offices, does Disraeli’s statement still ring true? Have London offices retained their appeal to both tenant and investor?

Like many sectors and markets across the world, the future of the office has been questioned since the UK government’s nationwide lockdown suddenly forced millions of people into a remote working regime. As a consequence, we have seen both tenant footfall and investment activity slow since March. However, there is already evidence that London and its offices remain critical to businesses and, as tenants become ever more selective post pandemic, the market is polarising between desirable and desert

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