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Intelligence Talks

Absolutely Net Zero: What Britain’s property sector can learn from Joanna Lumley

Season 3, Ep. 18

Net zero has come into sharp focus in recent weeks in the run up to COP26. As well as a string of government strategy announcements, actress Joanna Lumley has called for wartime rationing to fight climate change. So what are the key takeaways for property? On this week's Intelligence Talks podcast, Anna speaks to Imperial College London professor Richard Templer and Knight Frank’s head of sustainability, David Goatman. As well as Lumley’s climate credits and Nordic homes, they discuss what’s missing from the UK government’s latest net zero policies, why surging energy prices are such a problem for property, and how robots can help retrofit the nation’s housing stock.  

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  • 4. How do Britain’s build-to-rent schemes measure up?

    15:31
    The build-to-rent market has made serious inroads into Britain’s property sector, with the number of completed units more than tripling to over 82,000 units in the last five years. While the scale of this remains small relative to overall housing delivery, all signs point to a strong growth trajectory ahead. But how do the completed schemes measure up so far? To find out, Knight Frank has launched a new Resident Experience Index alongside UK property developer Moda which, for the first time, provides some insight into how resident experience drives investment value across the sector. It tracks key metrics from the sustainability of a scheme to the number of amenities on site, affordability, accessibility and health and wellbeing. Anna speaks to Lizzie Breckner, associate in Knight Frank’s residential investment research team, and Emma Shone, corporate PR manager at Moda, who were both involved in the launch of the new index. They discuss the standout results from the study, the most important factors driving resident experience and what future build-to-rent homes will look like. You can download Knight Frank’s Build to Rent resident experience report here: https://www.knightfrank.com/research/report-library/build-to-rent-resident-experience-index-2023-10495.aspx
  • 3. How UK developers are weathering the economic storm

    15:53
    Britain is facing a looming supply crunch for new homes. In this episode, we explore how housebuilders and developers across the ‘living sectors’, including student, seniors, build to rent, and single-family housing, are responding to the current economic uncertainty and high cost of debt. Anna speaks to Knight Frank partner and head of development partnerships Charlie Dugdale, and associate in our living investment research team, Katie O’Neill. They also discuss how the current economic slowdown is impacting the ‘absorption rate’ - the number of homes that can be sold into the market in a particular period - how master developers are seeking a greater diversity in the type of housing being built, including build to rent and more social and affordable options, the rise of housing partnerships between housebuilders and living operators, and inefficiencies in the planning system.  
  • 2. The branded residence opportunity

    20:26
    While global real estate markets are feeling the pinch from higher interest rates, the branded residences market is enjoying something of an upswing. Liam Bailey is joined by The Four Season’s James Price to unpack the data on a sector set to grow by 12% per year globally each year up to 2026. 
  • 1. How should London’s ageing office stock be modernised?

    21:11
    Where does it make sense to refurbish offices to higher environmental standards and to what extent will obsolete offices see a change of use to residential? Across London, approximately 140m sq ft of office space has an EPC rating below grade C, a recent Knight Frank study showed, a figure which represents 51% of total office floorspace. Under current government proposals, commercial properties must have an EPC rating of C or higher by 1 April 2027. In this podcast, Anna Ward is joined by two Knight Frank experts focused on this very issue – our head of London research Shabab Qadar, and our head of planning, Stuart Baillie. 
  • 6. Natural capital - The new asset class you need to know about

    12:35
    Liam Bailey talks to Knight Frank’s rural experts Isabel Swift and Andrew Shirley to understand a burgeoning new property asset class. 
  • 5. Does the banking crisis mean less property lending?

    11:44
    Liam is joined by Knight Frank’s head of debt advisory - Lisa Attenborough - to assess the fallout for developers and investors fromrolling banking turmoil.
  • 4. The UK budget unpacked – A real estate perspective

    18:00
    The Knight Frank research team take apart Wednesday’s budget, discuss the SVB collapse, and consider outlook for the UK base rate – with some bold predictions.
  • The Wealth Report – Where wealth is moving

    16:08
    The wealthy are moving, and competition to attract them (and their tax revenue) is rising. Liam Bailey speaks to leading mobility expert Kristin Surak. Kristin’s research on golden passports, international migration, nationalism, and politics has been translated into a half-dozen languages, and her latest book, The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for Millionaires, will be published by Harvard University Press in 2023.
  • 3. Old gold – Refurbished offices are the key to a sustainable future

    18:27
    Liam speaks to Janine Cole from GPE and Will Matthews to uncover the economic and green challenges and opportunities from retrofitting office buildings.