Shops and offices in Britain saw the biggest rise in empty business spaces since the past two decades, depicting how the pandemic brought about a huge change in the economy.
People and businesses moved away from the traditional style retail shops and offices. They instead moved to online shopping and there was an increasing demand for industrial space, as reported by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
“Both the office and retail sectors continue to see occupier and investor demand diminish, with expectations for rents and capital values remaining deeply negative for the time being,” RICS economist Tarrant Parsons said.
A rise in offices or shops for rent will not be expected till at least the coming year.
Although Covid-19 vaccines are being supplied in Britain, the government restrictions are not expected to be lifted for months. Changes in work and shopping may become permanent and a part of people’s lifestyle.
After new lockdown restrictions were imposed in Britain, the country saw the highest number of people working from home since June – 45%.
RICS said office demand was weaker in London than elsewhere, especially away from prime locations.
Retail spending online has gone up by 19% since last year.
Many British high streets are now losing key tenants, following the collapse of 200-year-old department store chain Debenhams.