CLS predicts shift from city skyscrapers to low-rise suburbia
◆ Commercial property landlord CLS Holdings says it expects stronger demand for lower-rise offices as businesses try to avoid cramming workers into densely packed skyscrapers, writes Rachel Millard.
The FTSE 250 company, which has a £2bn portfolio in the UK, Germany and
Spain, expects working from home to persist to some degree.
CLS has collected 99pc of rent for the first half and, so far, 95pc of rent due for the third quarter, backed by its government and large corporate tenants.
Finance chief Andrew Kirkman said: “Having windows and not being so dependent on lift access is important. Employees are going to want more elbow room.” There is also a shift towards the suburbs to avoid public transport into big city centre offices.
However, the company believes it is too soon to call time on the office skyscraper, noting that demand for high-rises picked up after 9/11 despite predictions to the contrary.
Over the six months to the end of June, the value of CLS’s property portfolio fell 2pc in the UK but rose by 2.6pc in Germany and 0.4pc in France. Net rental income rose 5pc to £56.5m.