KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Independent global property consultant Knight Frank has asserted that COVID-19 could impact the near-term supply and long-term design of housing around the world.

According to its survey conducted amongst 160 global developers across 22 nations, almost six in 10 global developers have delayed projects in response to the spread of the virus, as it broke down supply chains and prompted a wholesale rethink of how and where people want to live.

Of those with delayed projects, over four in 10 are now making changes to designs that were once considered complete, it said in a statement.

While developers will likely temper their urge to radically reshape development designs initially, Knight Frank’s survey said a desire to consider potential COVID-19-inspired changes, includes space for home office, healthier and greener living, urban appeal, mixed use schemes, closer to home, and virtual viewings.

Knight Frank associate Flora Harley said the research also examined some of the biggest constraints developers were facing, namely funding, with just under a third of respondents cite as their main concern.

Second to funding, she said was the threat of further property market taxation and regulation, with planning and travel restrictions also seen, but to a lesser extent as barriers to overcome in the near term.

“For the future, two messages are clear. For developers, COVID-19 has accelerated trends already underway in new build projects, whilst for purchasers it has ultimately confirmed that flexibility is key. 

“Purchasers are seeking truly versatile living space that supports agile working, whilst allowing for a separation for home life to promote health and wellbeing,” said Knight Frank Malaysia international residential project marketing associate director Dominic Heaton-Watson. 


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