The COVID-19 pandemic has affected society and business more than any event in recent history. It has not spared any industry or sector, creating immense opportunity for a lucky few and decimating many others.
In response, Gadens have seen businesses pivot, whether by expanding their service offering, changing their method of delivery or reallocating their workforce. In part, this has been allowed through the quick actions of Governments at all levels, and financial institutions, to meet the now very different needs of business. Obvious examples are:
These are terrific short-term assistance packages, but the real impact or opportunity will come as we move out of the COVID-19 era into whatever is beyond. The changes people have had to make during the COVID-19 pandemic are now being analysed to inform what our workplaces and residences could look like in a post-COVID-19 world.
Gadens are seeing several key themes emerge and evolve. As a starting point, due to the international impact of COVID-19 and the likelihood of ongoing tough international travel restrictions, we believe that a local focus will be critically important. Further, there is an increased focus on health and family time, support of local and Australian businesses, a desire to travel domestically (until international borders are reopened), and reliance on home delivery solutions.
As a legal services provider to clients in all areas of property, Gadens are already seeing our clients look at how those themes will impact and drive the property sector post-COVID-19. It seems to be commonly understood and accepted that the current norm is unlikely to continue to apply and that as society and business pivots, so too will their use of property.
This means that we are likely to see the following trends:
These trends will provide opportunities for development and redevelopment of property by private enterprise with the support of Government. Government has shown its agility in dealing with the current crisis. That same agility, and willingness, to work with private enterprise to put in place mutually sustainable solutions, will help us pivot into what will hopefully be a very different, but improved, living and working environment for us all.
This article first appeared on the Property Council of Australia’s website on 30 April 2020.
For details of all our COVID-19 tips and updates, visit the Gadens COVID-19 Hub.
John Nicolas, Partner