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Markets & Geopolitics

Global Commercial Property: The state of the sector in three graphs

The quarterly RICS Global Commercial Property Monitor charts sentiment across the sector. Here we analyse the findings of the Q1 2021 survey. After the difficulties of the last year, are expectations on the rebound?

World Built Environment Forum
17 May 2021

By the end of 2020, there were signs that global sentiment was finally back on an upward trajectory. The results of the Q1 2021 Global Commercial Property Monitor suggest that attitudes continue to move steadily but determinedly in the same direction.

Commercial Property Sentiment by Country

In almost every surveyed country, the index has continued to climb. In certain notable markets, including China and the UK, improvements in the general mood have outpaced the global average. But nowhere is this truer than in Nigeria, where the overall outlook is now only marginally negative, having risen from -30 to -3 since the end of last year. All eyes will be on the West African powerhouse in Q2: does this leap in confidence hint at sustainable recovery, or will it be short lived? Similar attention, too, will fall on India – one of the few markets to record dampening expectations in Q1. There, the worsening COVID-19 situation will surely drag more heavily still on sentiment in Q2.

RICS Global Commercial Property Monitor - Q1 2021 results

RICS Global Commercial Property Monitor is the leading indicator of conditions in commercial property occupier and investor markets around the world. In this webinar we will present the results of the Q1 2021 survey. New year, new market confidence?

Use the arrow to move between the APAC & MEA webinar and the Europe & Americas webinar.

Download the presentations from the webinars below:


Europe & Americas

Cross-border Investment Enquiries

International investor appetites continue to grow, with the industrial sector extending its run as the good news story of recent surveys. Having nudged above the line in Q4 2021, a strong majority of respondents (+11) are now reporting growth in cross-border enquiries. Appetites in the office sector, while still in net negative territory, are also recovering, up from a Q2 2020 nadir of -56 to -18 today. While the retail picture hasn’t been this rosy since Q4 2019, it remains the a signally troubled sector – a reflection of much-discussed structural issues that predate the COVID-19 crisis.

Perceptions on Phase of the Cycle

By Q3 2020, the writing was on the wall: nearly two-thirds of respondents felt the cycle to be downturning. By Q4, the group had shrunk, but still accounted for over half of all survey respondents. Today, only two-in-five see it that way. Crucially, over one-third now perceive the cycle to be in an upturn – this is up from one-quarter in Q4 2020, and one-sixth in Q3. The global market mood, then, is one of cautious, but very real, optimism. 2020 was a dismal year; seemingly now, there is light at the end of the tunnel.