Business conditions and the role of workers are changing and property investors need to adapt to these changes.
Although the economy is stable, the high street retail sector is turbulent. Maplin and Toys R Us have closed. Carpetright has secured a large bridging loan to keep trading and other retailers have reported reduced profits. Part of the reason for this is the growth of online sales. Town centre retail property may not be the best type of property to buy. Out of town warehouse property is in high demand from online retailers.
Many workers are embracing flexible work practices. Using technology, they can work from anywhere using their laptop, a phone and an internet connection. Some work from home, whilst others prefer an office environment where they can socialise and network with others. To cater to flexible workers, several companies have opened flexible offices where workers and companies can rent desk space without being committed to long leases. Some workspaces can be rented by the hour. Other businesses charge a monthly membership fee, which entitles members to work in many offices located all over the world.
Investors need to be aware of changing property trends when considering new investments. Commercial mortgage lenders will require a well-researched business plan that details exactly what type property the loan is for, who the likely tenant will be and what level of rent they are prepared to pay. They can also lend funds for buildings that can be adapted to a change of use.