New EG Report Shows a Surge in Interest for Satellite Offices Post COVID-19 Lockdown


EG, a market-leading supplier of data, news and analytics products and services for the UK commercial real estate market announced today the findings of its inaugural EG Propertylink Occupier Sentiment Report, which were made public for the first time. The report found that interest in offices in satellite and regional locations has surged since lockdown restrictions eased and that many regional and satellite markets saw the number of occupier and investor enquiries in June and July 2020 exceed the January 2020 levels by a wide margin.

By analysing occupiers’ search and enquiry behaviour, rather than deals data, the EG Propertylink Occupier Sentiment Report is an indication of future trends, and early signs are that more businesses want local offices as a result of changing work patterns during lockdown.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Shropshire, saw an increase of 75% in office enquiries in June compared to January which is traditionally the busiest month for property searches. Shropshire also topped the table for all property searches.
  • Croydon in South East London saw an increase in office enquiries on EG Propertylink of 88% in July compared to the start of the year.
  • In contrast to central London. searches for offices as a proportion of overall property searches also increased in the outer London borough from just over a third in January and February to 45% in July.
  • While office searches in the City of London were back to levels last seen at the start of the year in Westminster fewer occupiers and investors were active with enquiries still down 20%.
  • In the West Midlands, a hotspot for searches for all types of property, Birmingham saw an increase in office enquiries of 65% in July compared to January.
  • Total office searches as a proportion of all property searches remains the same.

The EG Propertylink Occupier Sentiment Report also shows that the rate of enquiries for all types of commercial property bounced back in June and July having plunged to a third of January’s levels in March as lockdown began. Offices has been the slowest market to recover with interest behind other commercial property sectors.

Coventry tops the table, seeing the biggest increase in property enquiries overall in July compared to January at 119%, followed by Birmingham 95%, Hayes 92% and Slough 74%. Rural counties make up 5 of the top 10 counties for an increase in commercial property searches in July compared to January. Shropshire tops the table with a rise of 111%, followed by Suffolk 87%, Dorset 56%, Devon 54% and Wiltshire 47%.

Enquiries for all types of commercial property were also up nearly a third in June compared to the same period in 2019.

Interest in retail space has also increased post-lockdown despite the well-documented struggles on the High Street. Retail enquiries on EG Propertylink were up 44% in June compared to January. However, Government changes to permitted development rights which make it easier for developers to convert retail space to residential is most likely behind the interest rather than from retail businesses.

Dr Nadia Elghamry, EG Propertylink Senior Product Manager said: “COVID has changed the way we all live, work, shop and play and there’s huge speculation about where the property market might go now. Our data provides a leading indicator showing what occupiers and investors are thinking and doing when they search for property on our site. Unlike other reports based on deals that happened in the past this data gives a glimpse into where the market is heading.

Offices was one of the hardest-hit sectors with demand dropping 15% through the pandemic but that hides a series of true success stories for workplaces in satellite and suburb locations. We’ve all gone back to our local shop, is it now time to think about local hub and spoke style offices?”

Read the full report here.

About EG

EG is a market-leading provider of data, news and analytics products and services to the commercial real estate market. EG products and services address the challenges and the data demands of all sectors and industries within UK commercial real estate. We deliver industry-leading events and weekly magazine content, and market leading data products including the EG Radius Data Exchange, the only contributory data sharing platform for the UK commercial property market.

EG Propertylink is the UK’s leading marketplace dedicated to commercial property with over 2.6 million unique visits and 190,000 enquiries from occupiers, investors and acquisition agents. Over 400 agents nationwide list their available properties on EG Propertylink making it one of the biggest sites for property listings in the UK.

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