Strategy

Future shock

How the commercial property sector is coping with widespread disruption caused by the rise of the internet...
Thomas McMahon
Last update 14 November 2018

The effects of technological change on the equity market have been much written about and discussed, and the structure of stock markets profoundly changed over the past decade. The UK commercial property market is seeing equally significant changes which have gone under the radar somewhat, we suspect largely due to concerns about the consequences of Brexit. Whatever those are, they will be temporary and largely cyclical, but the changes effected by technology, chiefly the internet, will be long-lasting and secular and have a much more profound impact on the contents and structure of investment portfolios.

The main issue is the rise of online shopping and its consequences for retail property and distribution warehouses. Another issue is the change in how companies use offices: the growth in co-working, the rise in remote working, and more flexible ways of using property, all of which tends to trend towards a reduction in the footprint needed by commercial property users. We review how the mainstream UK property trusts are positioned vis-à-vis these trends and explore how this new reality can be exploited by investors.

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Current Site Kepler Trust Intelligence is produced by the investment companies team at Kepler Partners and is the UK’s premier source of detailed qualitative research on investment trusts. Absolute Hedge is a market leading UCITS research database providing proprietary research on funds, themes and strategies in the UCITS space. Kepler Liquid Strategies is a Dublin domiciled UCITS fund platform featuring a number of best-of-breed fund managers. Kepler Partners is a corporate advisory and asset raising boutique specialising in the regulated funds market in Europe and investment trusts in the UK.