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Retail to Residential

Laura McLoughney of Riverlight Developments, reports on a recent conference

This global pandemic and unprecedented lockdown has forced us to re-assess what is important to us and how we want to live our lives with our families, friends and careers in spaces that are safe and fit for purpose.

We have been forced to reconsider how we exist in the fabric of our cities and towns and its direct effect on our happiness and our ability to thrive. As we assess and process the economic impact of these challenges, I headed off to TrustedLand’s Panel discussion “Is Retail to Resi a Reality” to hear from some key thought leaders!

The first questions put to Alex Price Chief Executive UK at Fiera Real Estate, was about his views on how we can manage the challenges right in front of us and where there are opportunities!

Alex highlighted that with retail in decline and asset values still too high, it’s prudent in the short term to be “cautious about leverage….and about jumping into things that are high risk in the short term”.

Managing your liquidity is key as “cash is king”. With some retail clients seeing up to a 35% fall in capital values in 2019, there a lot of pain but also opportunity. “Build to rent will be a big growth area… as house prices will strip out salaries and therefore people will still need to rent.” As office needs change “older offices will come up for refurb” allowing opportunity to adapt them with new technologies to preserve value.

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