Commercial property – the wasted billions

Last year the RICS commissioned a report from the economic research agency, Capital Economics to put a figure on the losses incurred by UK business each year through inefficient use of its property assets.

The report, Property in Business – A waste of Space?, which was published in May by top Economist Roger Bootle, puts the figure at £17.7billion.

This figure should be a startling wake up call to business managers in the smallest firms right through to corporate giants. The figures speak for themselves:

* property costs are typically second only to staff costs

* 25% of companies in a survey had not discussed property at board level for three years – and some did not even know all the property they owned

* owner occupiers tend to waste space compared with tenant, who save up to 12% on space per employee: £9.5 billion a year

* “hot desking” and other new working practices could save British businesses a further £6.5 billion annually

* Businesses could save £300million each year by appealing against business rates and £1.3billion by reducing facilities management costs by 10