BDO’s PropCost benchmarking report aims to deliver a truly independent analysis of service charge costs for UK offices. In recent years, UK office spaces have been subject to an unparalleled level of change. Accelerated by the global pandemic, significant periods of low occupancy in 2020 and 2021 were followed by a fundamental shift in the way we use our offices. As agile and hybrid working arrangements became ‘the new normal’, employers have had to think quickly and creatively about how to attract their people back to the office, from location and footprint to workspace design and staff benefits.
Our PropCost Office Review analyses expenditure data from 2019 through to the beginning of 2022, providing insight into service charge costs for offices during this period of change. In our analysis, we found that while there is an upward pressure on costs as a result of inflation, there was a 2.7% decrease in average service charge costs overall in the period that we reviewed. This likely reflects the reduced occupancy seen following the pandemic. We have also considered the impact of ESG through the lens of efficiency and sustainability — we know that this is high on the agenda for the commercial property sector.
We are proud to be developing PropCost in association with RICS. BDO and RICS share a vision for better transparency in relation to service charge cost data. As we continue to develop PropCost in line with this vision, we will broaden the scope of our data and analysis to encompass retail and industrial settings, and add value by building an online, real-time benchmarking tool.