Pandemic, unique driver for real estate innovation, says report

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Despite the adverse effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on businesses and economies around the world, the office sector has remained a popular investment choice, contributing around 35 per cent of global real estate investment in 2020.

The revelation was contained in the 2021 Knight Frank Wealth report, now in its 15th edition, which yearly provides expert analysis of the fortunes of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs).

The report, released yesterday, stated that global wealth has remained firm despite the pandemic.

“Our Wealth Sizing Model reveals that, globally, UHNWI numbers grew by 2.4 per cent in 2020. While this was virtually one-third the rate of growth seen in 2019, it is still not what we would have predicted in the first half of the year, given the impact of the virus.

“In 2020, we saw a temporary exodus from cities during the initial round of COVID-19 lockdowns. About 80 per cent of global GDP is generated in cities. Surprisingly, prime residential prices performed better than expected in 2020, while 26 per cent of UHNWIs are planning to buy a new home in 2021, according to respondents to this year’s Attitudes Survey.

“Private capital was undeterred by the pandemic and continued to invest in commercial real estate during 2020. About 48 per cent of family offices have reassessed their attitudes to succession planning during the pandemic and 38 per cent of family offices are looking to purchase commercial real estate in 2021,” the report read in part.