New Chapter

21st August 2019

London Living - New Chapter

#LONDONLIVING2019

Babyboomer, Silent Generation, Millennial. The generation you were born to may impact your thoughts on the best cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (covered over 400 times by the likes of Bob Dylan, Rufus Wainright, Alexandra Burke and Peter Hollens feat. Jackie Evancho) but it will of course go much further into who we are and what we hold dear. In the latest LondonLiving, DTZ Investors’ analyst Jessica Mueller looks at how when you started your life, plays into the every day of how you live your life.

I’m sure you have heard many ways in which Millennials are bringing social change to our way of life. Truthfully, each generation has its own intricacies which develop through the environment in which they grew up, each generation is impacted by technological advancements and the economic environment in their youth.

If we take ‘Babyboomers’ for example: their key characteristics are goal-centric, disciplined, competitive and self-assured. The silent generation are known for their hard work ethic, prudent saving and faithful commitment. Millennials on the other hand, are known for being strong on a work/life balance, being able to question authority and are achievement orientated.

So what made Millennials less hard working and competitive? When Millennials were growing up, there was a social shift towards a healthier lifestyle. More scientific proof was published on smoking, eating 5 a day, exercising regularly etc, this fed into their education. Millennials had lessons all the way through their education on health and well-being as well as the environment, something which both the Silent Generation and Babyboomers never had. This has evoked values around health and climate change for many Millennials, which has affected how they purchase goods and services. Some modern companies can charge £7 for salad in the City now because workers are more interested in their health than saving £5 and having a cheap supermarket sandwich.

Millennials have had the greatest change in characteristics from their parents (Babyboomers), which is not only down to their education but also the economic environment. They were mostly late teenagers or young professionals when the global financial crisis hit, which led to low economic growth for their early years of working. This, along with the increase in university fees and incrementally high house prices, has made them begrudge saving. Median wages grew by an average of 0.3% per year between 2007-2017, compared to three times that between the mid 1980’s and mid 1990’s meaning Millennials are worse off than their parents. It would take a Millennial on average 8 years to save for a house deposit in the UK (10 years in London). However, Millennials are spending more on leisure and activities than previous generations. It shows they are less interested in material goods and more interested in creating memories through experiences.

There has been a clear generational shift to personal care with greater awareness of physical and mental health as well as the environment. This has driven a change in the way people shop, the younger generations are more interested in how their products and goods are supplied, ensuring it is environmentally friendly and sustainable. There is likely to be a slight change in the way each generation lives, shops and plays… at the end of the day most teenagers want to be different to their parents, creating new opportunities for businesses. There is reasoning behind these changes and therefore it is important to understand why and where the new demand comes from to ensure your business or real estate is future proofed.

Jessica Mueller

Analyst


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future. 

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Transporting London

14th August 2019

London Living - Transporting London

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How was your journey into work today? Considering London workers spend an average of just over 2 hours each day moving to and from the office I hope it was ok, but I suspect it was pretty cramped in parts, slow and during these summer months also pretty hot. When it was created in 1863, the first tube line ‘The Met’ transported 1 million people in its first year, last year this number was closer to 70 million – hardly surprising then that London Transport is bursting at the seams.

In this week’s LondonLiving, DTZ Investors’ analyst Jessica Mueller looks at the challenges commuters face and the options available to them for change.

Have you ever worked out how many hours you take up commuting each year? London workers typically take 74 minutes (148 minutes a day) to commute which equates to 25 days a year, this is almost double the worldwide average. Imagine what you could achieve with an extra 25 days…. 5 weeks more holiday a year? A commute into London can be long, unreliable and hot, which leeds to stressed and demotivated workers or stressed and tired partners/parents, not exactly the right base for a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Commutes in London have been getting longer as Londoners are being priced out of their own city with the rising housing prices over the last 20 years. This in turn has seen the demand for rail increase by 12% over the last 6 years and the dated infrastructure is now starting to struggle to keep up with the constant use as well as the more extreme weather. The current infrastructure is continually being replaced to keep the trains running but it seems an almost impossible to task to complete. The last significant upgrade to the rail infrastructure was in the 1960’s when diesel trains were introduced, since then there has been no large advancement, apart from slowing down trains to check for cracks since the Hatfield derailment.

If London commuters could get back half the time they spend commuting back, they could gain on average 6 hours a week, almost a full working day. Changing the infrastructure would help this but it would be a costly project which would take years to complete and implement. Therefore, we need to come up with new innovative ways to make commuting in London more tolerable.

Some Londoners have resorted to old fashioned cycling, there has been a rise in the number of cyclists commuting into the city. London is not well equipped for cyclists and therefore not exactly the safest option (although statistically it is a riskier to be a pedestrian apparently). Cycling to and from work means you combine both your commute and your workout and minimise you transport and gym costs. This works well for over 730,000 people, greatly relieving some pressure on those individuals and the transport system.

Technology has advanced at an incredible rate throughout this same period which has enabled us to work remotely and flexibly but it is yet to become acceptable in every industry. If everyone was to work at home once a week or work flexible hours, we could relieve a lot more pressure on the transport system – in fact we are already starting to see this in action – the signallers at Bank Station now change the direction and flow of the escalators on a Friday compared to the rest of the week as they know there are fewer commuters coming through the station.

So changes are afoot, however, there is a long way to go and its up to employers to focus on making the employees lives more balanced and take away unnecessary stress by trying to come away from the standard 9-5 day which no longer is necessary.

Jessica Mueller

Analyst


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future.

Subscribe to LondonLiving here

London's Housing Crisis

7th August 2019

London Living - London's Housing Crisis

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To paraphrase a quote from Leonardo Di Vinci ‘small dwellings focus the mind and large ones weaken it’. As the shortage of affordable quality housing in London continues to grow, perhaps one of the solutions in this week’s LondonLiving – to turn derelict buildings into micro homes, could be beneficial on many levels. Read on for more insight from Jessica Mueller, analyst at DTZ Investors.

Between 1997 and 2016, London’s population increased by c.25%. A net 1.7 million people moved to London during which time just 370,000 homes were added to the stock. The current shortfall in housing stock is only expected to worsen in the future. There have been promises on delivering over 50,000 houses each year (which would match the growth in demand). However, the planning system in London can be slow and bureaucratic, and developers have sought to carefully manage pipelines to keep prices high, which have collectively hindered delivery. Currently an average of 20,300 homes are being built each year. The rate of construction has diminished quite significantly from the 1930s, when, on average 61,460 homes were built yearly, which might be understandable given there was more space then, but even by the 1970’s, 29,420 homes were being added annually – so what can we learn from the past?

Many trends have progressed over the last decade which have caused hiccups for property developers, these vary from urbanisation, planning policy, affordability and social trends. Urbanisation has seen demand for London residential sky-rocket as people want to be more connected. Younger generations are deciding to marry and have children later, which has increased the need for single person households. However, the majority of stock in London has been built according to traditional family models, which is creating a substantial mismatch in the market. One reason behind this shift is that many young professionals want to buy a house before they have a family, which is becoming more difficult and taking longer.

As I have mentioned in a previous article, London has a large problem with affordability. The Local Authorities have tried to help by enforcing large housing developments to have an element of affordable houses in their constructions, however it has not stopped house prices increasing. There has been a flow of capital coming from overseas which has supported the top end of the market in particular. This may have fuelled economic activity, but it has only added to the problem for those who want to work and own a home in London. More people are choosing to rent, including the over 60s, who want to enjoy the London scene without the hassle of buying. On the rental side too then, it seems young professionals in London are being priced out, due to competition.

London is scattered with derelict and empty buildings, there are roughly 22,500 residential homes and 24,000 commercial buildings which have sat empty for over 6 months. Maybe this is where we should look to start to tackle the housing crisis, just the empty commercial buildings alone could create, 40,000 one bed flats (working on the basis that the average one bed flat is 46 sq m). If we create micro-homes (approx. 24 sq m) we could develop almost 75,000 flats, surely this would be the most economical and practical way of helping to resolve London’s housing issues?

Jessica Mueller

Analyst


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future.

Subscribe to LondonLiving here

Delivering Convenience

31st July 2019

London Living - Delivering Convenience

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Our world is becoming increasingly fast paced and with it impatient. Gone are the days of waiting a few days for a response to a [posted] letter (can you imagine?!) and no longer do you have to wait a week for your holiday snaps to be developed only to find 8 of the 24 photos were out of focus and the last one is of a family you have never met.

Modern advances are a wonderful thing, but in some cases the infrastructure to support change is still catching up. One such example is online orders and the subsequent delivery there of. In this week’s LondonLiving, Jessica Mueller, an analyst at DTZ Investors looks at the brands and business models which are attempting to get ahead in last mile delivery across the capital.

Next day delivery and free returns are becoming the norm, with 39% of the UK having access to an Amazon Prime account. Traditional retail is struggling, at the same time, there has been growth in online sales and delivery which has had a great effect on warehouses and industrial units. Most customers, given the choice, will opt for the cheapest delivery option and only a small group are happy to pay for convenience or same day delivery (this differs depending on the product in question). The delivery market in the UK is hard to conquer because of this, delivering goods is expensive with low margins. Shutl carried out a survey which found that 91% of people value delivery options that provide a narrow timeslot.

There are many new innovate ideas to challenge this market such as: drone deliveries, sheds and beds (industrial and residential mix), lockers, and local pick up points. The difficulty is making these ideas profitable and independent companies are trying to rebel against the unhelpful and often impractical 9-5 delivery slots. Doddle Ltd have tried and tested having delivery people with an oyster card around London which came across a few health and safety issues, and also renting traditional retails stores where unfortunately revenue could not cover the high rents. However now they have found pop up stores in central locations such as Liverpool Street, where they use push notifications to tell you your parcel has arrived and an instore barcode scanning for quick service. Shutl Delivery is also trying to overcome the “Sorry I missed you” cards, by giving the customer complete control over their delivery. They offer the opportunity to send or receive packages locally within 90 minutes or to choose a convenient one hour delivery slot. Shutl is currently boasting a fastest delivery time of 14 minutes. More traditionally, Collect+ are piggy backing off local shops which are open long hours so that customers can collect their packages once they are home. These delivery companies are proving that there still needs to be a physical point of contact to make the service flexible and convenient for their consumers.

Retailers are starting to understand this and redesigning their stores to make it convenient and flexible for customers to pick up their online deliveries from their shop. Although this service alone would not cover most high street rents, it complements in-store shopping and can also lead to impromptu purchases and lastly it allows the consumer to interact with the brand. These retailers therefore need to be closer to their warehouses or need larger storage areas in their retail stores. The lines are slowly blurring for traditional property sectors. Historically warehouses and industrial units are situated on the outskirts of towns, planning regulation have always been there to set this precedent. However, as consumers become more demanding are more industrial units going to creep into town centres to support the delivery of goods, and how would you feel if they did?

Jessica Mueller

Analyst


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future.

Subscribe to LondonLiving here

More Than Living

24th July 2019

London Living - More Than Living

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There is no doubting that London offers a unique and exciting environment, but when it comes to living and working in the city there are a few areas that it falls down – particularly when compared with other capitals across Europe. Quality of life has many measures and perhaps now is the time to look at city neighbourhoods and communities that are getting it right further afield so that we can start to fix what is happening on our own door step. Jessica Mueller, DTZ Investors’ analyst pens her thoughts below.

London is renowned for being an expensive city to live in. Depending on which statistic you look at, it varies from being the most expensive in Europe to about the third, Zurich and Geneva sometimes taking the lead. Rome, Barcelona and Berlin are all significantly cheaper, although still top capital cities to visit. Demand in London is extremely high whether it is for housing, restaurants and bars or activities. This demand has made a simple cappuccino now c.£2.70 in London, in Madrid the price is 80% less.

On the quality of life ranking by Mercer, Geneva and Zurich, although being very expensive, place very highly. London, however, ranks at only 41st, so where has it gone wrong? The quality of life ranking takes into account personal safety, housing, public transport and much more. London falls behind mainly on air pollution, traffic, crime levels and also unsurprisingly, housing. Vienna and Zurich are ranked highly on the quality and affordability of housing, transport and infrastructure, leisure facilities and crime rates.

Housing is important for everyone and therefore is weighted highly in the ranking. This is widely known to be an area where London needs to focus its attention, and where better to learn from then a city which is purported to be doing it right? Zurich is home to many front leading housing developers/co-operatives, such as: Mehr als Wohnen (More than living), Kalkbreite and Kraftwerk. Mehr als Wohnen aims to create a new neighbourhood within the city rather than an estate, each scheme has its own personality and mirrors the way the community of people want to live. These schemes are built at scale, they each have a micro-government and keep every ground floor reserved for businesses and communal use. Mehr als Wohnen is funded by around 50 small co-operatives and they have created 295 dwellings, 35 retail space as well as community facilities for c. 1,200 residents, just north of Zurich. These residential schemes have proved that large developments which focus on community living make cities much friendlier and more affordable places to be. If London is to increase the quality of life of its inhabitants, it might be time to take a more radical approach to residential planning and allow more innovative housing solutions to overhaul the current provision.

Jessica Mueller

Analyst


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future.

Subscribe to LondonLiving here

WELL Being

17th July 2019

London Living - WELL Being

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How are you feeling today? And what can you see around you? Does your answer to the second question have any bearing on your answer to the first? In week 3 of our #LondonLiving2019 campaign we look at the impact that the built environment can have on well being. Savvy employers are making changes to keep employees healthy and therefore productive but how can this extend into other sectors? Jessica Mueller, DTZ Investors’ analyst investigates.

More than 40 percent of London is green space or open water, the royal parks are beautiful and are exquisitely looked after. In spite of this, the majority of us spend most of our day inside, meaning we are exposed to low levels of sunlight and fresh air, especially in winter. Real estate therefore, becomes an important factor in how we live our lives and can impact how healthy we are.

The WELL standard has been built around medical research proving how environments can affect human health. These studies show that the healthier employees are, the less sick days they claim and the more productive they will be. The WELL standard focuses on active offices, where for example the stairs are more prominent than the lifts. Another simple solution is encouraging people to move throughout the day and not let them be stuck to one desk permanently. The WELL standard is gaining popularity as employers are becoming more aware of the effect that office design can have on output. Serviced offices are typically seen as great spaces, which can really encourage creativity and efficient working. They have amenities such as coffee shops, quiet spots, meeting rooms and break out areas, which means occupiers can choose the right environment to be in depending on the type of work they are doing.

Offices are ahead of other sectors, potentially because there is an obvious and direct correlation between happy/healthy employees and productivity. However other sectors are catching on, as all built environments can make a big difference to your daily life, whether it’s where you choose to work, shop, socialise or sleep. Industrial parks have introduced running clubs and events to promote a healthy lifestyle. Shopping centres have introduced experience stores and activities, such as simulators, rock climbing/bouldering or ice skating. However, in the residential sector it is more difficult to see big changes, especially if you only have a 1 bed flat to play with. Residential blocks have attempted making a healthy environment by adding gyms and green space, but there is still room for improvement. There is much more that can be done in these sectors and as people are becoming more health conscious, all sectors need to keep up and provide great spaces indoors if they want to attract employees, customers and tenants.

Jessica Mueller

Analyst


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future.

Subscribe to LondonLiving here

Together Alone

10th July 2019

London Living - Together Alone

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Are there moments, however fleeting, in your life that you have felt lonely? That might feel like quite a personal question and its not one we are expecting an answer to, but it’s a growing issue. In this latest article, written by our analyst Jessica Mueller, we investigate loneliness for those living and working in London where although you are rarely further than a couple of metres from the next person in distance, emotionally it can often feel like miles.

Most people dream of living the London Life and being part of the hustle and bustle that’s everywhere you turn. Instagram paints a flawless picture of a happy and fulfilled city lifestyle whether that involves meeting new people, a successful and exciting career or the perfect brunch. In reality London is a very disconnected capital, despite having a population of over 8 million people, which is continuing to grow.

London is multicultural and vibrant, with countless opportunities to try new experiences and meet different people. There is something for everyone whether you’re interested in music, food, fashion or sport. The difficulty is, that most Londoners stay in the same friendship circles and attend the same events. For someone moving to London on their own, it’s a tough reality that it is not only expensive, but can also be very lonely at times. Only 7% of Londoners strongly agree that London is a good place to meet new people – not a great statistic if you’re moving into London solo.

Typically, you’d move into an old Victorian converted townhouse with a few strangers, paying c. 50% of your earnings – maybe not quite the start you had been expecting. The endless Snapchat stories and opportunities leave Londoners feeling inadequate and that they should be constantly busy and leading a fantastic life. This creates an anxious energy or guilt if you are on your own at home. It may come as no surprise then, that London is the loneliest city in the world according to a Timeout survey of 18 cities – 55% of respondents admitted to feeling lonely.

London is fast-paced and can be stressful, not necessarily what Instagram portrays. The lack of social networks is increasing the number of individuals who feel unsupported and alone. The need for change is apparent and Londoners are now more aware of the benefits of having a community, opting to pay for clubs, groups and gyms to meet like-minded people. But with statistics like the one from the Timeout survey, surely it’s time to introduce new ways to connect with each other to keep the city and its residents thriving?

Jessica Mueller

Analyst


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future.

Subscribe to LondonLiving here

Is Residential Next?

3rd July 2019

London Living - Is Residential Next?

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There is little doubt that London is one of the most exciting cities in the world. But how we work, rest and play in this metropolis is evolving rapidly.

This is the first one looking at the need for a disrupter in the residential market.

Both the retail and office markets have been hit by disrupters, the impact has been different, but the forces the same. Disrupters aim to use technology to improve user experience to create more efficient, flexible products and services with greater amenity and choice. In retail markets, this has manifest itself in the rapid, universal growth of online retailing. In offices, the effect is most obvious of course in the rise of the co-working sector. Market disrupters have emerged in the residential estate agency market, but this has not reached accommodation and developers yet. So when and how will the residential market be impacted?

London landlords have been in a lucky position over the last 30 years, with little effort or continued investment, rental levels have increased significantly because of the constant high demand for rental properties. It is common knowledge that London is an expensive city to live in – young professionals are most impacted, spending on average 50% of their monthly income on rent. I am sure you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it takes on average 8 years to save for a deposit today. Londoners are increasingly choosing to rent in the long term rather than buy, although there is more to that decision than just finances.

These high rents are becoming the norm, which you could argue is acceptable in the open market if tenants are prepared to pay. However, there is a lack of regulation or fairness, Londoners are paying a high proportion of their salary to live in converted Victorian townhouses. The stock is increasingly becoming mismatched with the desires of London renters. Tenants are dealing with individual, inexperienced landlords who are slow to react to repairs and maintenance, leaving the tenant under stress and paying over the odds for the accommodation.

The demand for flats and shared houses is so high that there is no pressure for change. The current stock is insufficient and does not meet the desires of single people in London. However, there is no motivation for private Landlords because they are still able to achieve high rents quickly on their flats or shared houses. The market needs a large disrupter, the likes of Netflix to Blockbuster to increase the competition – this would pressurise Landlords to invest in their houses and to swing the market in favour of tenants.

Jessica Mueller

Analyst


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future. 

Subscribe to LondonLiving here