Exodus from the office to knock chunk off rents
ESTATE agents are braced for an exodus from offices as a remote working revolution causes chaos in the commercial property market.
Rents are predicted to fall sharply as companies seek out smaller, cheaper sites and there is a surge in employees working from home. Nine out of 10 agents and landlords expect firms to scale back office space in the next two years, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors revealed.
Its survey found that more than half of commercial property insiders expected many offices to move out to the suburbs amid fears city centres risked becoming ghost towns after the pandemic. It is thought the success of remote working during lockdown means many companies will not bring all their staff back to work full-time, even when the threat has passed.
Sinking demand is likely to cause office rents to slide by between 4pc and 7pc in the next 12 months, while retail rents could suffer declines of up to 14pc, Rics said.