Jamie Walker

Immense pressure is being applied to brick and mortar businesses from every angle. Highstreet shops are seeing ever-increasing competition from online delivery sites, home workers have left office spaces empty and social distancing has brought the hospitality industry to its knees.

Using our DoordaLocations product we can track key metrics in the commercial landscape of Leeds and make predictions on how these will change over time.

Most abundant spaces

By grouping properties by their description, we can find the top 10 highest uses for commercial space. We see offices are by far the most popular use of commercial space in Leeds, followed by shops. This is expected to change drastically in the near future as a recent survey found 74% of financial service firms are reviewing their use of office space as working from home has proved a viable alternative.

The confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned that the closure of offices may lead to ‘ghost towns’ which will have a knock-on effect on shops in city centres.

Prediction 1

The number of offices and shops will decrease, potentially being replaced by housing and leisure venues, Leading to a more ‘humanised‘ city centre.

Commercial Locations

By linking postcodes to OA polygon data from doordaspatial we can see areas in Leeds city centre with large amounts of office space overlapping with areas with large amounts of shops.

Prediction 2

Following the closure of offices, coffee shops, cafes and pubs will follow their customers to the suburbs, creating a more locally-orientated ‘village’ feel in the outer city.

Commercial Prices

We can also map office prices in Leeds to find the most expensive spaces.

The most expensive office spaces are found in the centre of Leeds. This may change as the work from home culture is expected to stay long after the pandemic is over. This not only means companies need less office space but also they may opt to split their offices to more spread-out, cosy and flexible locations to reduce commute time, encouraging workers to come into the office and appeal to prospective employees. For more information click here.

Prediction 3

Offices will become more expensive in the outer city as companies look to downsize and reduce commuting times.

Conclusion

This is the most disruptive time for businesses in recent memory. Companies are being forced to make drastic changes to adapt to ever-changing safety regulations. We will continue to track these changes in the commercial landscape and see how our predictions fair.

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