If the trend of home working continues, local High Streets (including Cranleigh) could be set for a revival.
A new survey by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found 93% of its members are scaling back their office space during the next couple of years.
Moving away from urban hubs could prompt a shift to work in local neighbourhoods, with benefits for local High Streets.
RICS members also said they expect retail and office rents to fall further in 2020.
While the home working trend is likely to be bad news for city centres, with one commentator warning of a ‘polo mint’ effect as absent office workers ‘hollow out’ these areas.
But RICS also points to the opportunities created by a working from home trend, saying:
“With downturn there can be opportunity, government must also look to replace uncertainty with stability; and fill the middle of the commercial sector polo mint.
“Offices and shops in city centres need support as people stay away from their normal workplace, and although local shop hubs are benefitting the market must be addressed as a whole.”
Commercial property in central locations tends to be more expensive for business, and more people want to work from home or at least locally.
Empty office space in towns and cities could free up property for residential housing, with changes to the planning rules in September designed to make it easier for landlords to convert units from commercial to residential purposes.