Experts say technology is driving change in the market 

JLL is looking at Portsmouth's city centre
JLL is looking at Portsmouth's city centre
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TECHNOLOGY is driving a revolution in the south coast property market, according to the property consultancy firm that is hoping to reinvigorate Portsmouth's centre. 

JLL has recently been appointed by Portsmouth City Council to carry out the delivery of its masterplanning work, looking at ideas for the city centre which will see a move away from traditional high street approach to a more residential, leisure and community focus.

The firm held its annual breakfast seminar – the South Coast Metropole – at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton last week. 

Experts at the event outlined that across the property industry, technology is having an unprecedented impact on the design, scale and value of property. 

Emma Eaglestone, lead director at JLL Southampton, said: ‘The impact of technology is all around us but nowhere is it more keenly felt than in the property industry.

‘We are seeing increased demand for bigger, more versatile industrial space, often with a view to accommodating sophisticated technology such as robotics and large-scale distribution.

‘And the revolution in office space, delivering versatile, exciting and innovative environments for people to work in, is evident right across Southampton, Portsmouth and the south coast.

‘But it's on our high streets where we will see next significant wave of change. Truly mixed-use development will become the mainstay of the high street.

‘Rather than the relatively uniform run of national-brand shops that we have found in the past, we will see a far-more integrated blend of houses and apartments interspersed with retail units, bars, restaurants, entertainment and leisure offers, alongside economic and business space.

‘And we expect a far higher degree of independent operators in the mix.’ 

The firm said that in the industrial sector, technology is driving demand for larger warehousing space, in particular to make space for robotic capability. In time this trend, combined with a lack of development land, is expected to result in denser development, like multi-storey warehouses. 

In the residential sector, high demand for new homes and pressure on the industry by the government to reduce build times and emissions are fuelling a shift in construction methods. Housebuilders are moving towards modular housing, constructed both on and off-site.  

In terms of office space, technology has delivered a far greater degree of flexibility for staff, enabled by remote and smart technology. 

However, high street is where technology has had the greatest impact so far. Whilst the losses and challenges of major brands has been widely reported, a new focus on residential and effective mixed-use development holds the key to a vibrant future for high streets. 

Emma said that JLL was proud to be working with Portsmouth City Council, and excited to be looking at ways of boosting the city’s ‘vibrancy’.