IPF Investigates Flexible Space Market




Press Release

Much has been written about the flexible space market and its implications as a disruptive effect on the traditional office sector but, to understand how this changing landscape may affect the real estate investment market, the IPF today announces the commissioning of Ramidus Consulting Limited to provide a critical consideration of how the market may develop in response to current and potential occupational drivers and, crucially, the implications for institutional landlords. Led by Rob Harris, the research will evaluate the opportunities and risks this market offers to long-term investors. Contextualising the market in its demand dynamics the research will address the question of whether the sector is undergoing a structural rather than cyclical change and factors that might further disrupt the market.

The project is expected to be qualitative with its main focus on stakeholder interviews (operators, owners, designers, managers) and industry experience, where possible using case studies to illustrate key points.

Andy Schofield, Director of Research, Europe, at Nuveen Real Estate, and chair of the Project Steering Group (PSG) that will oversee the study, said: “Our research fully intends to differentiate itself from the many existing studies of the flexible office sector. We have scheduled interviews with an extensive list of stakeholders in order to draw out how traditional institutional landlords perceive the flex sector developing over the next few years. What do these landlords perceive will be the opportunities and threats and how are they responding? The results will reveal the degree to which flex operators are impacting the traditional office sector and allow us to conjecture as to how the sector might look in five years’ time.”

Ramidus Principal, Rob Harris, commented “We are delighted to be undertaking this research project on behalf of the Investment Property Forum. The flexible space market is growing and evolving rapidly, with major disruptive implications for the whole property sector. This will be the first systematic study of the implications of the emerging market for the landlord community. We will be examining how landlords are responding as the market changes and how they see their approaches evolving in the future. We will seek to identify any structural changes in the traditional landlord-tenant relationship, particularly whether the space-as-a-service model will become the norm for the market as a whole.”

Members of the IPF’s PSG also comprise Bill Page (Legal & General Investment Management and Dan Francis (Carter Jonas).

Findings will be announced in the late autumn, when the report will be published.