Nicol Dynes, James Wallace, Dan Innes and Richard Betts
In the Spotlight for the 50th edition of RealCast:
Axa bets on the rebound to office working by raising €800 million for the development of offices and residential in the UK, France and Germany, but also seems to accept that the way office space is used is changing rather than requirements diminishing.
Other signs of commitment to offices include property consultant JLL’s decision to lease 134,000 sq ft at British Land’s One Broadgate. Nevertheless, residential is still to the fore and at London’s Canary Wharf there are reports that a planned major office scheme will be substituted with a residential tower.
Meanwhile, fast charging points are forecast to be a boon for out-of-town shopping centres in the UK where there has been substantial growth in the use of electric cars. The country’s retail sector is anyway bracing itself for a resurgence as the lockdowns are relaxed, although this could be diluted as consumers switch their attention to restaurants as these will open later.
Nevertheless, UK construction activity has surged ahead according to a survey of the sector – house builders are the top performers.
Elsewhere, Catella residential fund plans to spend €2 billion on residential tower buildings across Europe and has made its first investment as part of a strategy to provide affordable, sustainable residential accommodation.
Alternative real asset sectors are in focus too, including data centres and the energy sector – NorgeBank recently paid €1.4 billion for two Dutch windfarms.
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