What does 2021 hold for the property development market?

Property development has an impact on road usage, traffic levels and parking. So part of the planning process always involves looking at the impact of the development on the road network and on local services. That usually involves a range of data collection, including traffic surveys, pedestrian surveys and parking surveys – all designed to give a clear picture of the current situation to help planners see what the potential impact may be. These surveys may also be repeated once the development is complete, to provide valuable date for future road or pedestrian upgrades and to inform future decisions.

Will the development market bounce back?

The answer is probably that it depends on the development. The new habits formed by the pandemic have potentially changed the way we work and the way we consume. That means that developments that are focused on the office/retail mix may find the market harder, whilst those investing in ‘essential’ infrastructure like warehousing, industrial property and housing may see more opportunities.

One of the clear areas of change is in the office building market. The pandemic has given many people a clearer idea of how they want their work-life balance to look, and this has resulted in many companies investigating ‘hybrid’ working, where workers can blend working from the office and working from home, alongside fully remote working for those roles that are appropriate for it.

For office developments – particularly in city centres – this means a potential drop in demand, and therefore a drop in the profit the development can make. And similarly, offices on industrial parks may suffer from a change in working conditions and this will have a knock-on effect on the amount of traffic on the road – especially at peak times. So some of our assumptions about the times that are busiest may change. School runs will obviously always be a thing, but they may not be combined with the morning commute.

The overall feeling of property development specialists is that the development market will bounce back and that developers – who are known for flexing to suit the market – will be putting plans in place for developments that suit both the new working conditions that are likely to occur but also have an eye to easy social distancing and lots of outdoor space.

Traffic survey support from RDS

To find out more about how we can help you with traffic, parking and other surveys, delivering precise data that helps your decision making on your current or next development, contact us today.

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