The Financial Times recently reported that Axa Investment Managers have raised €799m for investment in Europe, with a focus on the UK, Germany and France. Much of the sum is said to be intended for office investment in major cities with the remainder going towards residential development.

This is a sign of confidence that occupiers will return to offices. Ian Chappell, head of development and value-added funds at Axa IM Alts, told the Financial Times that low-carbon emission, high-quality, flexible office spaces will be the future, with Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) factors being of particular importance to occupiers. Both Ian Chappell and Mat Oakley of Savills predicted that rents in older office buildings would fall but remained confident in newer developments.

It appears that ESG is here to stay and will remain important both to occupiers and investors in the post-Covid world.