The Prime Surge and Remote Work

August 13, 2021
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The prime surge

Global prime residential prices are now outpacing mainstream markets for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.
Across the 46 cities we track, prices increased at an average rate of 8.2% in the year to June 2021, up from 4.6% in March. That compares to a 7.3% gain in mainstream markets across 150 cities. Interestingly, the proportion of cities registering prime price growth has increased only marginally, instead it’s the scale of growth amongst the top-performing cities that is behind the index’s acceleration.
Toronto leads this quarter’s results, recording annual prime price growth of 27%, driven by strong buyer appetite and low inventory levels. Despite a recent raft of cooling measures, the next three rankings are occupied by key Asian cities - Shanghai (21%), Guangzhou (20%) and Seoul (20%). Miami (19%) completes the top five this quarter. See the full piece from Kate Everrett-Allen for more.
Staying with the theme, Faisal Durrani takes a closer look at the boom in sales in Dubai's Palm Jumeirah, which in Q2 logged the highest number of villa sales since 2014. Sales are being driven by familiar themes; both resident expats and international investors are seeking larger and more luxurious homes as hybrid working models take hold.

Remote work

As Lee Elliott outlined in the 2021 edition of (Y)our Space, the tech sector has in many ways set the tone for the global workplace over the past decade, whether that's via the software they've developed, the workspaces they've designed and delivered, or the workplace culture they've implemented - see widespread coverage of their evolving work from home (WFH) policies throughout the pandemic.
New iterations of those policies draw considerable amounts of attention, and the latest move from Google to effectively cut the pay of workers that choose to work remotely on a permanent basis, thereby living in locations with a lower cost of living, is no different. Google is by no means an outlier, as Reuters notes, Facebook and Twitter also cut pay for remote employees who move to cheaper areas. Others, like Reddit and Zillow have shifted to location-agnostic pay models, citing advantages when it comes to hiring, retention and diversity.
Meanwhile, Derwent's interim results released yesterday included upgrades to its rental value guidance. Chief executive Paul Williams tells the Times that a war for talent is underway and "good businesses are going to need good space to attract that talent."

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