A thriving occupational market with very limited availability is pushing life sciences assets to the top of many investors’ wish lists.
But with assets in short supply and competition intense, many are eyeing development or repurposing to provide an entry point to the highly sought-after market. It does not come without its risks, however, and success is dependent on truly understanding local science-led ecosystems and occupiers’ varying requirements, say Gerald Eve’s Angus Minford and William Powles.
The leading role of UK-based scientists in the response to the pandemic has shone a spotlight on the sector and it has been a key catalyst to its recent growth. With heavy public and private sector backing and encouraging occupier characteristics, real estate investors and developers are quickly turning their focus to the opportunities it presents. various opportunities and challenges planning presents for development in the life sciences sector.
These are considerable; life sciences is a high-value industry, often long-term in its requirements and usually well-funded by Government, large pharmaceutical firms or venture capital money. The UK is a world-leader, and the sector is growing in both size and stature. What’s more, there’s a shortage of dedicated life science space, and supply is unlikely to meet the surging demand.
Investors cannot expect there to be a constant pipeline of up and built product to acquire.
The shortage of supply will continue and the level of competition will remain high. Unless the
capital is very patient, investor strategies will need to be flexible as waiting is not an option.
‘Over badging’ of assets as life science opportunities seems to be flavour of the month. Yes, there
are some gems out there as redevelopment or repurposing opportunities, but it is also a market
that is hard to read and can be easily misunderstood. Like its occupiers, detailed research needs
to go into where and what you offer, as it’s far from a case of ‘one size fits all’.
So: what should investors and developers look out for? Download the full briefing note to find out.