Skip to main content Skip to footer

COVID-19 and EMEA real estate

20 03 20 damian

Analysts and brokers guide investors on the impacts of COVID-19 on business in Europe

Colliers International has launched a microsite to provide insight and recommendations for business during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The site provides information on key trends impacting our economies, capital markets, various real estate sectors and geographies at this unprecedented time. It has been compiled by Damian Harrington, Colliers’ Head of EMEA Research, with the assistance of regional managing directors and service line leaders. 

View the site here

Damian said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is now hitting Europe hard and our clients are looking to us for advice and clarity around what the future is going to look like. We’ve looked at how this has impacted on our colleagues in China and APAC, as well as previous global infections and the global financial crisis to underpin our initial, objective observations. 

“Whilst we are in the initial stages of this pandemic and the immediate impact is uncertain, it is clear that the whole world is going to experience an economic shock. For Europe that will mean investment volumes and take-up shrinking during the first half of this year. Restricted travel is having a significant impact on the ability of investors and occupiers to make decisions, as the technicalities of closings become complicated and impractical,”
added Damian.

“The majority of new projects will be stalled until there is greater economic clarity. Everyone is waiting to see how central bank and government stimulus packages will support business and household cash-flow short-term. Our APAC teams are now cautiously optimistic about a recovery in their markets, seeing light at the end of the tunnel. When this epidemic comes under greater control in EMEA, we expect real estate activity to bounce back strongly.” 

The website looks at how COVID-19 is impacting on capital markets, offices, industrial and logistics, retail, hospitality and leisure as well as occupier services. It also links to advice pieces from our Colliers colleagues in the APAC and Americas region, as well as from local teams across EMEA providing advice and support to their clients. 

“In the short-term tourism, retail and leisure sectors are clearly most impacted, whereas the grocery, life sciences, healthcare, scientific and technical sectors are expected to be steady or even see an upside in activity. The long-term impact will see a lot of changes, such as supply chains diversifying away from a reliance on China, and a rethink around the optimisation of office space needs given the shift to remote working and a greater integration of flexible and decentralised space. Business continuity plans are going to change, and currently subdued ESG principles rise in importance, driving change and opportunity.”

Related Experts

Damian Harrington

Head of Global Capital Markets Research | EMEA Head of Research


London - West End

I currently have a joint role as a Director Colliers, as both Head of EMEA Research, and Head of Global Capital Markets Research.  I am also part of  our EMEA Location Strategy team.

I have worked within the real estate profession  for over 20 years, living and working from various locations across EMEA including London, Dubai, Prague, Helsinki and Amsterdam. My work and student experiences expanded my horizon to include India and the US. 

I use my experience and analytical skills to take a forward looking view of market opportunities & challenges impacting the industry on behalf of internal and external clients.  During my career I have written research /generated analysis of markets across all asset class types - from residential to offices, retail to logistics and hotels to niche sectors such as life sciences, air cargo and data centres.   I have analysed a variety of subjects and subject matter relevanmt to our industry, examining the impact on real estate such as the changing nature of global capital and the impact on global capital flows, the impact of e-commerce and near/off-shoring on global industrial and logistics markets and the changing nature of the energy and hydrocarbon industry. In addition to developing a view of markets at a very high-level,  I have conducted multiple studies examing the  micro-meso location factors critical in supporting the creation of planning policy at city/regional level, and in supporting investment and occupier decisions on key projects across EMEA, in addition to providing a strategic overview of multiple- markets and locations  as part of the decision making process. 

View Expert

Kim Inam

PR Manager

Marketing & Communications

London - West End

I'm a communications professional who has previously worked as a journalist for eight years covering a broad range of topics including politics, crime, health and housing in north London. In recent years I have worked in corporate communications for local authorities across London  and joined Colliers in October 2019, initially providing maternity leave cover.

I provide strategic public relations advice to various business lines within the UK organisation to secure recognition for their work in the property press as well as key target media, and work with our experts to produce thought leadership pieces which are of interest to our clients and colleagues within the commercial real estate sector. In addition, alongside colleagues in the PR and wider communications team, I provide media and social media training for our in-house experts to prepare them for media opportunities and raise their personal brand within the sector.

As well as supporting various teams within the UK business, I also I curate and edit regular content for the blog, which drives credible business leads to our experts.


View Expert