Real estate (property) market research

According to research by Savills, real estate is by far the largest store of wealth globally, with an estimated value of USD280 trillion at the end of 2017, around 50% more than the total value of equities and debt securities.

Residential properties account for almost 80% of this value, with the remainder split fairly evenly between commercial and agricultural properties. Despite accounting just 18% of the world’s population, 45% of residential property wealth is concentrated in Europe and North America.

A key trend in commercial property in recent years has been the rise of buildings developed into co-working spaces where freelancers and people employed by different companies share the same office space. WeWork, the best-known player in this market, was forced to cancel its initial public offering in 2019 and subsequently replaced its CEO and announced plans to curtail its rapid global expansion. However, the trend towards more flexible office rental appears to have taken hold and various forecasts suggest that the total number of co-working spaces worldwide will grow from around 18 000 in 2019 to somewhere between 26 000 and 36 000 in 2025.

In the UK, the real estate industry contributes around GBP100 billion annually to the economy, or around 7% of GDP. Two million jobs are also directly and indirectly supported by the industry. The ambition of home ownership is more strongly rooted in the British psyche than the French or German, but more than a decade of low interest rates, coupled with shortages of land to develop new properties in areas of high demand, have pushed the price of residential property beyond the reach of many young people.

FieldworkHub’s experience in the real estate industry include projects in the UK for two different operators of co-working spaces, interviews with flat and house renters in London, interviews with estate agents in London, and a major study on the market for retirement accommodation in London and the South East.

RELATED CASE STUDIES

Young couple with estate agent looking around a rental flat

Focus groups with home renters in South West London

FieldworkHub arranged two focus groups with people who lived in a particular district of South West London and rented their home from a private landlord. One group comprised residents aged 25-39 and the other group comprised residents aged 40-55. We successfully recruited a mix of male and female respondents with varying incomes and rent levels who had lived in the area for varying amounts of time.

Modern co-working office space with exposed brick walls and concrete ceilings

In-depth interviews about co-working spaces with decision makers and employees in the UK

A well-known provider of co-working office spaces in the UK wanted to carry out a number of 60-minute on-line interviews with managers who make decisions about office space on behalf of their employers and employees who have a  say in the type of office accommodation that their employer uses. During screening we checked that the interviewees were potential customers for co-working spaces by validating that they were willing in principle to move offices when their current lease expires and that they did not have any special requirements that could not be fulfilled by a typical co-working space. We successfully recruited 15 people to take part interviews at times that were convenient for our client.

Estate agent 'for sale', 'to let' and 'sold' signs outside London homes

Tele-depth interviews with London estate agents

A European digital innovation agency was researching online residential property agents and property search websites and wanted to speak to a number of traditional branch-based estate agents to understand how these services are forcing them to adapt their business models. They were particularly keen to speak to the employees of the larger chains of estate agents in London as they felt that these were likely to have seen the greatest impact. We arranged nine 60-minute telephone interviews with estate agents at short notice, including two interviews with branch managers. These provided extremely useful insights to our client.