Nicol Dynes, Dan Innes, Paul Strohm and Richard Betts
In the spotlight this week:
The crisis has provided an opportunity for the private debt market to widen its activities and take advantage of increased liquidity in a commercial environment made more benign by governments’ support. Such is the extent of the change that it seems possible that Europe may become more like the US where 25% of the market is comprised of non-bank lenders.
In the UK, the Queen’s Speech, which sets out Government plans for the next parliamentary session, revealed that new laws will be passed simplifying the planning process with the intention of increasing housing output. There is resistance because some consider it a “developers’ charter”.
However, the build-to-rent market is getting investor attention and Apache Capital has created a separate division to deal with the sector.
Meanwhile, Bruntwood SciTec is going to be the largest property platform dedicated to science and technology growth in regional cities.
Elsewhere, while online retailer Amazon is rumoured to be taking a large logistics building at Magna Park in the UK’s East Midlands while, in high street retail, both New Look and Virgin Active have had CVA applications approved by the courts, which could provide an unwelcome precedent for landlords.
And as office users adapt to the changed business environment, the British Council for Offices has published a briefing note for members which suggests the post-pandemic period is going to be an opportunity to change the unit of measurement for offices from square feet to square foot hours, which is perhaps closer to the co-working rather than traditional lease model.
In a move that could the reveal longer term effects of the pandemic the Helsinki authority is holding a competition to find a design and development team to redevelop the city’s remaining undeveloped dock area at what the city says is “a crucial time for global cities emerging from the pandemic”.
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