COVID-19 and EMEA real estate

20 03 20 damian

Analysts and brokers guide investors on the impacts of COVID-19 on business in Europe


Colliers International has launched a microsite to provide insight and recommendations for business during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The site provides information on key trends impacting our economies, capital markets, various real estate sectors and geographies at this unprecedented time. It has been compiled by Damian Harrington, Colliers’ Head of EMEA Research, with the assistance of regional managing directors and service line leaders. 

View the site here

Damian said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is now hitting Europe hard and our clients are looking to us for advice and clarity around what the future is going to look like. We’ve looked at how this has impacted on our colleagues in China and APAC, as well as previous global infections and the global financial crisis to underpin our initial, objective observations. 

“Whilst we are in the initial stages of this pandemic and the immediate impact is uncertain, it is clear that the whole world is going to experience an economic shock. For Europe that will mean investment volumes and take-up shrinking during the first half of this year. Restricted travel is having a significant impact on the ability of investors and occupiers to make decisions, as the technicalities of closings become complicated and impractical,”
added Damian.

“The majority of new projects will be stalled until there is greater economic clarity. Everyone is waiting to see how central bank and government stimulus packages will support business and household cash-flow short-term. Our APAC teams are now cautiously optimistic about a recovery in their markets, seeing light at the end of the tunnel. When this epidemic comes under greater control in EMEA, we expect real estate activity to bounce back strongly.” 

The website looks at how COVID-19 is impacting on capital markets, offices, industrial and logistics, retail, hospitality and leisure as well as occupier services. It also links to advice pieces from our Colliers colleagues in the APAC and Americas region, as well as from local teams across EMEA providing advice and support to their clients. 

“In the short-term tourism, retail and leisure sectors are clearly most impacted, whereas the grocery, life sciences, healthcare, scientific and technical sectors are expected to be steady or even see an upside in activity. The long-term impact will see a lot of changes, such as supply chains diversifying away from a reliance on China, and a rethink around the optimisation of office space needs given the shift to remote working and a greater integration of flexible and decentralised space. Business continuity plans are going to change, and currently subdued ESG principles rise in importance, driving change and opportunity.”

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Damian Harrington

Director | Head of EMEA Research

EMEA Headquarters

I am Director and Head of EMEA Research for Colliers International, having previously been Director and Head of Eastern European Research with Colliers for 7 years. 

I have worked within the real estate profession across EMEA for 20 years, living and working from bases in London, Dubai, Prague and more recently Helsinki.

I spent the first 10 years of my working life in London, starting as a development/investment consultant for an independent research house.

This was prior to joining CB Richard Ellis where I led emerging market research in MENA and CEE for 3 years. I resigned from CB Richard Ellis to develop and manage my own independent consultancy based in the UK, before joining Colliers in 2009. As of 1st July 2015, I was promoted to Head of EMEA Research. 

I use my experience and analytical skills to take a forward looking view of market opportunities & challenges impacting the industry on behalf of internal and external clients. 

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Kim Inam

PR Manager

London - West End

I have joined Colliers International after working for five years in local authority in-house communications roles, leading media and marketing in the environmental, licensing, regeneration and planning sectors. 

Prior to joining local authorities I worked for eight years' experience in journalism in north London reporting on a wide range of subjects including politics, crime, health and housing. For three and a half years I managed the team of reporters to produce nine weekly newspapers, a  monthly supplement and the newspapers' social media platforms.

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