It’s hard to open the newspaper (if you are still getting one that is) and read anything other than the impact of COVID on – well, on everything. Last week, we wrote about how the virus has led to the stratospheric Boom in Zoom. Today, we look at the other side – the decline of commercial real estate. The two (Zoom and commercial real estate that is) seem to be inversely proportional to each other – the very reasons that cause one to rise, cause the other to fall.
Here’s a look at some numbers.
Bad moon rising..
According to Cushman & Wakefield report, office space absorption across top 8 property markets in India has declined 30% sequentially to 16.75 million sq. ft in Q1. This is in line with the estimation by global property consultant JLL that net leasing of office space could decline by up to 14% this year to over 40 million sq. ft across seven major cities (Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata).
The scenario was looking grim to even before COVID. The lockdown and its impact on the economy seems to have pretty much sounded the death knoll – not just in India, but across the world. As per the estimated economic impact (sector-wise) from COVID-19 on India’s GVA April-June 2020, real estate is among the hardest hit sector, seeing a drop of 17.3% along with Financial & Professional services (in fig 1).
A similar hit has been reported in the US and the UK. A Moody’s Analytics report forecasted a pandemic-prompted recession that would cause GDP to contract by 4% over a year and a half, on different asset classes and geographies in the commercial-real-estate business across the United States (in fig 2). It is estimated that there may be increases in vacancy (of commercial paces) and decreases in rent.
The UK too has been given a similar projection by VOX EU – it states that the probability of negative impact by the Covid19 on the sales of real estate sector (in sales) would be >30% over the next year (in fig 3).
It is clear that the lock-down and social distancing imposed to keep a check on the spreading pandemic has affected the cashflow. But what’s worrying is that this temporary change in our living (and working) style may not really be temporary anymore and could lead to a permanent change that may directly impacts (commercial) real estate. JLL listed out few long-term impacts in its report on COVID-19: Global Real Estate Implications:
Increase in remote working and a greater focus on health, well-being and productivity
Change in retail behaviour with the normalisation of online grocery shopping
Change in perception of travel and renewed emphasis on sustainable practices.
Increased integration of technology, particularly PropTech and MedTech, impacting all aspects of life and business
That said, this pandemic could definitely affect the demand for real estate assets as events continue to be cancelled, offices remain shut and travel restrictions continue to be imposed.
Will remote work become the order of the day, even post-Covid?
As the saying goes – one man’s loss is another man’s gain – more remote first companies will be borne out of this global lockdown. With millions of people working from home, the home-office work style may become the new work-trend post-Covid19.
According to Buffer’s annual report (2019)- The State of Remote Work, 99% of its (global) respondents wanted to work remotely or at least for some time in their career (fig 4). This is an indication that perhaps remote working is here to stay.
While not so common in India, remote working has been popularly practised (and successfully so) in countries like the U.S. and the UK. Before the global lockdown began, Forbes had estimated that by 2020, 50% of the UK workforce will work remotely. The U.S. also saw an increase in the same by 159% in 2019. At present, over 40 nations have enforced lockdown and thus resorting to remote working; this could be the largest remote work experiment.
Companies are now coming around to realising that remote working is not just a trend, but a way of working and can have huge benefits. FlexJobs’ annual survey found that 65% of respondents are more productive in their home office than at a traditional workplace. It has also been found that 60% of top 20 companies listed in the annual World’s Best Workplaces list have an active remote working policy.
In India, almost 4-5 million Indian employees have been working from home since its lockdown in mid-March 2020. As lockdown extends, so does remote working. Perhaps, this work-culture could be the new normal in India. And this enforced remote working may actually be the push-button for organizations to consider it as a long-term solution. Remote work is the new normal.
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Processing of Data:
TC Global may also process any Personal Information or Usage Information collected from you for legitimate commercial purposes including to provide you with the requisite information requested. A list of uses of the Personal Information and Usage Information collected is provided at Section 3 of this Policy (Use of Information Collected).
TC Global implements appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk of our processing of information about individuals such as (i) only sharing and providing access to your information to the minimum extent necessary, subject to confidentiality restrictions where appropriate, and on an anonymised basis wherever possible; (ii) using secure servers to store your information; (iii) verifying the identity of any individual who requests access to information prior to granting them access to information; and (iv) using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software or other similar encryption technologies to encrypt any payment transactions you make on or via our Site.
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USE OF INFORMATION COLLECTED
TC Global does not share any Personal Information with any third party without your consent, except when directed by the law. TC Global can use this data to verify user identity in line with engagement initiated by the user. We will communicate with you using the contact information provided by you in order to respond to any queries that you may have and to provide any information that you may request regarding the services provided through the Site. We may communicate with you either by written, physical communication, email, telephone, SMS or via notifications on your mobile device. We may also send strictly service-related announcements to you periodically and when it is necessary to do so. For instance, if our services are temporarily suspended for maintenance, we might send you an email, text message, flash notification or telephone call. If you do not wish to receive such alerts, you have the option to unsubscribe from such emails or opt out by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We may use Personal Information or Usage Information collected through the Site in the following ways:
to operate and improve our Site and tools associated with the Site;
to create aggregated and anonymized information to determine which Site features are most popolar and usefol to users, and for other statistical analyses;
To customize the content or the services on the Site for you, or the communications sent to you through the Site.
To help provide you the services accessible through the Site, which may include liaising and providing information to visa/customs/immigration offices of various countries and admissions offices of universities situated across the globe;
To observe, improve and administer the quality of services on the Site;
To analyze how the Site is used, diagnose technical problems;
Remember the basic information provided by you for effective access;
To confirm your identity in order to determine your eligibility to use the Site and avail our services;
To notify you about any changes to the Site;
To enable TC Global to comply with its legal and regolatory obligations;
For the purpose of sending administrative notices, service-related alerts and other similar communication with a view to optimizing the efficiency of the Site;
Doing market research, troubleshooting, protection against error, project planning, fraud and other criminal activity; and
Marketing activities: We use your information for marketing activities. These activities include:
Using your contact info to send you regolar news about relevant products and services. You can unsubscribe from email marketing communications quickly, easily, and anytime. All you need to do is click the "Unsubscribe" link included in each newsletter or other communication.
Based on your info, individualized offers might be shown to you on the Site, on mobile apps, or on third-party websites/apps (including social media sites), and the content of the site displayed to you might be personalized. These coold be offers that you can book directly on the Site, on co-branded sites, or other third-party offers or products we think you might find interesting.
When you participate in other promotional activities (e.g. sweepstakes, referral programs, or competitions), relevant info will be used to administer these promotions.
Administrative and Legal Reasons:
We cooperate with government and law enforcement officials and private parties to enforce and comply with the law. Thus, we may access, use, store, transfer and disclose your information (including Personal Information), including disclosure to third parties such as government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we reasonably determine is necessary and appropriate: (i) to satisfy any applicable law, regolation, governmental requests or legal process; (ii) to protect the safety, rights, property or security of TC Global, our services, the Site or any third party; (iii) to protect the safety of the public for any reason; (iv) to detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues; and /or (v) to prevent or stop any activity we consider to be, or to pose a risk of being, an illegal, unethical, or legally actionable activity. Such disclosures may be carried out without notice to you.
THIRD PARTY CONTENT AND LINKS TO THIRD PARTY SERVICES
We do not include or offer third party products or services on our Site.
Your information will be retained with TC Global as long as it is needed by TC Global to provide services to you. If you wish to cancel your account or request that TC Global no longer uses your information to provide services, you may contact TC Global at email@example.com.. TC Global will promptly delete the information as requested. TC Global will retain and use your information as necessary to comply with its legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce its agreements or for other business purposes. When TC Global has no ongoing legitimate business need to process your information, we will either delete or anonymize it.
CONTACT & POLICY UPDATES
CHANGE OF INFORMATION AND CANCELLATION OF ACCOUNT
You are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the information you submit to us, such as your contact information provided as part of account registration. If your Personal Information changes, or if you no longer desire to access the Site, you may correct, delete inaccuracies, or amend information by contacting us through firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond within 72 hours of receipt of communication.
You have the right to request that we rectify or delete the personal data or restrict the processing of your personal data, if you think they are inaccurate. Furthermore, you have the right to object against the processing based on our legitimate interests as a legal basis. We are required to assess and act on your request. Additionally, you also have the right to data portability if it shoold become relevant. You have a right to lodge a complaint with your local supervisory authority.
[You may also cancel or modify your communications that you have elected to receive from the Site by logging into your user account and changing your communication preferences.
If you wish to cancel your account or request that we no longer use your information to provide you details with respect to our services and the Site, please write to us at email@example.com.
If you wish to opt out of receiving non-essential communications such as promotional and marketing-related information regarding the Site and our services, please send TC Global an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By email: email@example.com
In the event of any grievances, user can contact the grievance officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at the following address:
The Chopras Global Holdings PTE Ltd
No. 3 Shenton Way
#10-05/06, Shenton House