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Companies are starting to return to the office, says RICS

Almost two-thirds of respondents to the Q3 2021 RICS Commercial Property Monitor believe the market is in an upturn phase as tenant demand for offices increased for the first time since before the pandemic.

In Q3 2021, demand for commercial property across the office, industrial and retail sectors increased for the first time since before the EU referendum result in 2016. This quarter 18% more respondents reported a rise in demand, primarily driven by the industrial sector. However, for the first time since well before the onset of the pandemic, 7% more respondents cited an increase in demand for office space. Once again, retail continues to struggle, as 18% more respondents reported a decline in demand for retail units. Although, this is the least negative reading since 2017.

The report stated: ‘There continues to be available space to rent in the retail and office sectors, (net balance of +28% and +34% respectively) yet respondents highlight the struggle to find available industrial space as supply continues to fall. As demand for industrial units continues to outstrip supply, it’s unsurprising that incentives are on a downward trajectory across the industrial sector, whereas to help drive demand for office and retail space, landlords are increasing the value of inducement packages on offer.’

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