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What key trends will shape investor behaviors in 2021 and beyond?

As the global economy bounces back from the pandemic-induced downturn, commercial real estate investors are looking to 2021 and beyond as period of high growth — and substantive change. CBRE’s 2021 Global Investor Intentions Survey paints a broadly positive picture of investors across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific who are adapting to markets that are recovering from the abrupt pandemic-induced downturn. The big takeaway: Investors intend to deploy much more capital worldwide this year, which has led CBRE to forecast 15% to 20% growth in global real estate investment volume in 2021.

CBRE's Head of Research in Finland, Jussi Niemistö shares his insights on the recent CBRE Key Trends report.

Office investment will rebound as more workers return to the office

According to the CBRE Global Investor Intentions Survey, 51% of investors believe office demand to decrease slightly (up to 10%) in the next three years. With many office workers now recognizing that remote working challenges their productivity, the tide is slowly starting to turn. As employees’ confidence in workplace safety grows amid the decline in infections and an increase in vaccinations, CBRE believes office investment will increase proportionally.

Another key trend shaping the real estate market is the investors’ focus on amenities and building enhancements that support health and safety. While investors had long recognized the need to amenitize their assets to attract high-quality tenants, the pandemic-driven uncertainty about the future of office demand means it has become essential for the best properties to have a comprehensive amenity offering. The investor appetite continues to be strong for well-tenanted, long-leased and ESG-compliant offices in prime office submarkets.

Investors are strengthening the appeal of the office with flex space offerings and experience services

According to CBRE Research1, flexible office space options are one of the most in-demand building attributes in the future and investors are following this trend by strengthening the appeal of the office with flex space offerings and experience services. Popular tenant-retention strategies include introducing tenant-experience mobile apps, improving indoor-air quality and enhancing the sense of community among building occupants.

Jussi Niemistö adds:

“After a long period of remote working, important part of the orientation in returning to the office will be recovering the sense of community and collaboration for employees. Connectivity and team spirit are attracting employees back to the office. Investors and occupiers are trying to find flexible office solutions to support these crucial workplace factors in the post-COVID environment.”

Increased investor focus on ESG considerations and opportunities

More than half of the CBRE’s Global Investor Intentions Survey respondents are adopting ESG criteria for their prospective real estate investments, with EMEA leading adoption due to regulatory advancements. Adoption of ESG criteria is most common among real estate funds, pension funds and investment managers. Investors are increasingly adopting sustainability measures at all stages of the property lifecycle, from acquisitions, to leasing, to asset management. Sustainability and ESG compliance are key value drivers for real estate in 2021 and beyond.

Conclusion

As the global economy bounces back from the pandemic-induced downturn, commercial real estate investors are looking to 2021 and beyond as period of high growth—and substantive change. CBRE’s 2021 Global Investor Intentions Survey paints a broadly positive picture of investors across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific who are adapting to markets that are recovering from the abrupt pandemic-induced downturn. The big takeaway: Investors intend to deploy much more capital worldwide this year, which has led CBRE to forecast 15% to 20% growth in global real estate investment volume in 2021.

Learn more about what trends and strategies will shape property owner and investor behaviors in 2021 and beyond in CBRE’s Key Trends report and 2021 Global Investor Intentions Survey report can be downloaded here.

1CBRE Future of Office Survey, September 2020


To discuss more, don´t hesitate to contact Jussi.

Jussi Niemistö

Jussi Niemistö

Jussi (M.Sc.Econ, CEFA) is the Head of Research in Finland and part of the Nordics Research Team. He leads all research activities in Finland and works together with the business lines to provide clients and the wider market with high quality research and value-added market insights. Jussi has over 10 years of experience from Wealth Management and Capital Markets and has an unique skill set that combines financial and capital markets and data science knowledge.
Mobile phone: +35 8 40 537 5760

Jussi.Niemisto@cbre.com

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