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The week in corporate real estate - 13 April 2021

The week in corporate real estate  13 April 2021

A regular update of the biggest corporate real estate news from New Zealand and around the globe.

New Zealand corporate real estate news

  • Colliers Auckland CBD Office research: Colliers’ Research team released its Auckland CBD office report for the first half of 2021. Office vacancy rates increased from 4.7% to 8.8% over the past 12 months due to the impact of COVID19 and the addition of 54,000 sqm of new prime grade stock. The update also noted two large leases at new office buildings: tech company NTT has leased 1,400 sqm at 155 Fanshawe Street and insurance company Tower has leased space at 136 Fanshawe Street. More info here.
  • NZGBC member survey: The NZ Green Building Council released results from its survey of members. Members’ priorities included waste, reducing operational carbon in buildings, reducing carbon from products and materials, and responsible sourcing of products. The biggest challenge identified by members was convincing clients and consultants about sustainability. More info here.
  • Sky TV land sale: Sky Television is preparing to sell two of its three buildings at its Mt Wellington headquarters. The buildings have become under-utilised as more staff work flexibly between home and the office. Colliers has been appointed to sell the properties. More info here.
  • Scion Innovation Park: Crown Research Institute SCION released photos of its new Te Papa Tipu Innovation Park in Rotorua. The development makes extensive use of timber construction to improve sustainability. More info here.
  • Taranaki Racing Inc development dispute: Taranaki Racing Inc is preparing its lawyers to dispute potential development in the middle of the racecourse. New Plymouth District Council is currently calling for submissions on a proposed $40M multi-sports hub. More info here.
  • Horizons buys neighbouring site: Horizons Regional Council's property company has acquired a site next to its existing Palmerston North headquarters. More info here.

Global corporate real estate news

  • Google and remote working: Google is preparing for employees to return to the offices, with broad reopenings plan for September. At that point employees will be expected to be in the office at least 3 days per week. More info here.
  • JP Morgan and remote working: JP Morgan’s CEO’s annual letter to shareholders discussed how the firm will likely adopt a hybrid approach to remote work. Many staff will work on-site full-time, some will work under a mix of home and office, and a small percentage (maybe 10%) working full-time from home in very specific roles. The letter also described some of the weaknesses of remote work which have included difficulties when people do not already know each other, difficulty in training staff on the job, slow decision making and elimination of spontaneous learning. More info here [search for “remote” when viewing the article].
  • Amazon and remote working: Amazon recently told employees that its plans to return to an “office-centric culture”. Amazon believes it enables them to “invent, collaborate, and learn together most effectively”. More info here.
  • Microsoft survey of work trends: Microsoft released its Work Trends Index report for 2021. Findings included 70% of workers wanting remote work options to continue, but more than 65% wanting more in-person time with their teams. The report examined 7 groups of staff (eg leaders, Gen Z, etc) and found that Business Leaders felt they were thriving, but Singles, New Employees and Frontline workers were struggling. More info here.
  • WeWork plans to go public: Flexible office operator WeWork announced that it plans to go public via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). The announcement comes after WeWork lost $3.2B during 2020 and is two years after it failed to go public via an IPO two years ago. More info here.
  • Best Buy reducing physical footprint: US electronics retailer Best Buy is scaling back its physical footprint. It has 450 leases coming up for renewal over the next 3 years. It plans to apply higher thresholds when considering renewal decisions. More info here.
  • HSBC's UK call-centre might go fully remote: HSBC in the UK is reviewing whether to switch 1,200 of its call-centre staff to permanent remote working. 70% of the bank’s 1,800 call centre staff in the UK had volunteered to new return to the office. More info here.
  • UK landlords' £5B rental shortfall: Re-Leased, an NZ based prop-tech company, reported that UK landlords experienced a shortfall in rent of £5 billion over the first 12 months of the pandemic. More info here.

Related Experts

Renee Lintott

Strategic Analyst

Auckland

Renee was the recipient of the Blair Hargrave/Colliers  Scholarship in 2019 before joining the  Strategic Advisory team as an analyst in the same year. Renee worked part time in the team for 2 years whilst completing  her tertiary qualifications and joined full time in mid 2021. 

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