Simon Durkin joins our real estate podcast to share insights on the future for logistics and offices. BlackRock's head of real estate research discusses the need to be cautious on evaluating risk in hot sectors like logistics and the opportunities for a new strata of offices to emerge as occupiers reassess their workspace demands.
In the latest episode of our PropCast series, BlackRock’s head of real estate research Simon Durkin sat down with Blackstock Consulting’s founder Andrew Teacher to discuss emerging trends in the real estate industry.
The pair covered a range of topics, starting with how investors should be approaching the market volatility caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Durkin said: “If we were to assign a letter to the shape of the recovery it would be ‘K’,” he adds. “It denotes the fact that some geographies will perform better, as will some companies and some industries while others will decline.”
He pointed towards logistics as an area that has done particularly well in the last year, but warned about an abundance of optimism, saying: “We are nearer the top than the bottom of the cycle. We are mindful of the risks that exist.”
One of the risks, Durkin suggests, is electrification. “I think the electrification of fleets is one of the big unknowns,” Durkin explains. “Logistics operators will have to adapt accordingly. Availability of power will be critical in defining a long term, sustainable location.”
Moving on to the topic of offices, Durkin thinks that changes in the patterns of work will boost the popularity of “super-prime” office real estate that is able to “deliver on the increasing wealth of metrics occupiers demand before taking a building”.
He also suggests that the typical grouping of “offices, logistics and retail” has limited usefulness in the contemporary market, arguing that “most assets are multi-use”, and that we should look through the lens of “what attracts occupiers to office space”.
Listen to the full episode on the Property Week website.
Head of European Real Assets Research