Is the post-pandemic recovery really on? Could be, as demand for biz premises shows a strong uptick.
As the UK finally begins to emerge from the pandemic’s profound disruption to normal life, new patterns in consumer behaviour are taking shape. Increases in consumer spending at the start of this year, coupled with the acceleration of GDP throughout 2021 to levels not seen since the second World War, suggests that Brits are set to re-live aspects of the post-war Roaring Twenties, characterised by a surging economy and mass consumerism.
New data from Quotezone.co.uk highlights that business is booming in line with consumer spending as demand for commercial property insurance increased by 45% in the last six months of 2021. And just as the 1920s welcomed a new era of entrepreneurship and creativity, this boom has been largely led by smaller high street shops, businesses, salons, and pubs.
As highlighted by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), consumer demand in January has been concentrated on the high street as the public flock back to homeware shops, restaurants, and clothing stores. Quotezone.co.uk’s data supports this, showing that the driving force is demand for retail outlets rather than office space, with demand for offices falling even lower over the last six months compared to 2020, falling by 83%.
Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, a leading financial comparison platform, comments: “As retail sales surge and the UK’s GDP finally gets back on track, we’re beginning to see positive trends emerge for post-pandemic Britain. It’s encouraging to see such strong retail sales even in light of rising living costs. The spike in consumer demand is hopefully a sign that we’re entering our century’s very own Roaring Twenties.
“It’s interesting that demand for office space has continued to drop dramatically, even though restrictions have been easing for several months, reflecting the continued popularity of working from home – showing that, like the 1920s, a major change in lifestyle is here to stay with a focus on the work-life balance. However, as the majority of covid restrictions are now lifted, we may start to see demand for office space increase for the first time in two years – with many firms keen to explore the hybrid work model.
“We champion increased consumer confidence and economic recovery, but consumers must remain vigilant. Many will face challenges in the coming months, particularly with rising energy and transport prices, so it is important to get value for money and find savings where possible.
“A good place to start is checking how competitive suppliers are by not auto-renewing, reviewing direct debits, ordering in bulk and looking to sell or repurpose existing household items that are no longer needed. Shopping around is key, comparison websites can help you compare policy details and prices all in one place so it’s easier to see what’s a fair price.”