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Post-pandemic adjustments within Surrey’s commercial property market

Surrey’s excellent transportation connections and proximity to London have made it a desirable destination for businesses, and the county’s commercial property market has thrived due to its strong economy. As a specialist in commercial properties with a network of four offices throughout Surrey, Curchod & Co has the highest number of agents and surveyors actively engaged in the local markets and enables the firm to observe the subtle changes witnessed by the local market due to the impact of the pandemic.

“The pandemic is having an impact on how society uses and interacts with commercial properties. These changes have been witnessed at a local level, particularly in the towns across the county,” says Piers Leigh, a partner at the firm’s Woking office.

“The retail sector, in particular, has experienced a transformation due to the accelerated shift toward online shopping. This change has compelled retailers and leisure operators to adapt their offerings and operations to attract visitors to shopping centres and the High Street. Amidst these shifts, convenience retail has emerged as a sub-sector that has benefited from the changes over the past three years.

“Local shops have experienced a resurgence as shoppers rediscover their appeal, and this ongoing trend is partly influenced by the changing work patterns witnessed in the office sector,” he adds.

Hybrid working, where employees divide their time between remote work and office presence, has caused a change in shopping patterns and town and city centres have seen a decrease in footfall, while suburbs and local shopping destinations have witnessed increased activity.

“The rise of hybrid working also has implications for the office market,” says Piers.

“Forward-thinking businesses are now seeking adaptable and modern office spaces that can cater to different working environments, aligned with their employees’ preferences. There is a discernible ‘flight to quality’ within the office sector, with demand remaining strong for high-quality office properties across the county. Conversely, the demand is significantly lower for secondary and older offices that lack adaptability or accessibility.”

Surrey’s warehousing and industrial sector represents the strongest area of the commercial property market. The county’s strategic location and connectivity have long attracted logistics businesses, and this trend has been further boosted by the rise of e-commerce and the growing demand for efficient supply chains during the pandemic.

“The commercial property market in Surrey has experienced various dynamics due to the pandemic,” concludes Piers.

“The office market has witnessed a shift towards quality and adaptability, influenced by the rise of hybrid working and the retail sector has adapted to the rise of online shopping, with convenience retail gaining momentum.

“In the warehousing and industrial sector, demand remains robust, capitalising on Surrey’s strategic advantages and the increased demand for efficient supply chains.”

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