UK and Germany lead serviced apartment openings | Ruth Holmes

As extended business travel and cross-border assignments resume, the serviced apartment sector is expected to further cement the reputation for quality and convenience it has built during the pandemic.According to new figures from HVS, a global hotel consultancy organization, around 4,700 new serviced apartments will open in 2022. This will be followed in 2023 by around 4,350 units, 3,100 in 2024 and 1,325 in 2025. Project sizes provided vary from 32 to 369 units, with an average of 139 units.


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Where is the supply of serviced apartments increasing the most?

The UK and Germany lead the way for the total number of units planned. Each country represents 25% of the total pipeline units.London (47%), which accounts for 12% of total new units in Europe, continues to be the top site for development of serviced apartments in the UK. Interestingly in the context of the government’s upgrade program, the capital is followed by the cities of Cambridge (18%), the heart of Silicon Fen, and Manchester (7%), a driver of the Northern Powerhouse cluster and points hot computer jobs. .In Germany, the growth of serviced apartments is more dispersed. Munich and Frankfurt together account for a fifth of the country’s unit growth, followed by Hamburg (14%) and Stuttgart (9%).HVS expects France to benefit from around 1,650 new units entering service by 2025, with Portugal, Ireland and Belgium each seeing around 500 to 700 new units.

Which serviced apartment operators are opening the most new units?

Staycity, which opened its third location in Manchester this year in St. Peter’s Square, has the biggest pipeline. Its unit development pipeline is split about 60-40 between its Wilde (1,700 units) and Staycity (about 1,000 units) brands, according to HVS. More than half of the pipeline units will be located in the UK, with the rest split between Ireland, France, Portugal and Germany.Second in number of openings, Adagio has more than 20 projects and 2,600 housing units. Germany (880 units) and the United Kingdom (630 units) concentrate the largest share of the brand’s future supply.Edyn Group – shortlisted in the Think Global People and Relocate Awards Serviced Apartment Provider of the Year category – continues its European expansion of the Locke brand, as well as the introduction of its newest brand, Cove.The Ascott (700 units), which includes its Citadines and lyf brands, is also in the running for the Relocate Award and is planning significant European expansion. The Residence Inn by Marriott rounds out the major players with 1,200 new units planned by 2025.

What are business travelers and corporate travel teams looking for in a serviced apartment?

The HVS Sentiment Survey interviewed 90 lenders, investors and operators to share their views on current and future challenges and strategic direction. Commenting on the findings, Maria Coll, Senior Consulting and Valuation Associate at HSV, and Arlett S Hoff, Director of HVS’s London office, observe that cohabitation – the creation of intentional communities – is really gaining in importance. The Ascott group, for example, is launching its lyf co-living brand in Europe with the 139-unit lyf Gambetta Paris in 2023/4, after having launched the lyf brand in Asia.“The serviced residences sector targets the professional traveler with its creations of new concepts. Many new serviced apartment brands carry the term co-living and increasingly focus on building a short to medium term residential community by providing residents with ample space to interact and work together.“While so far we have seen self-contained units with their own kitchen (ette), living room and bedroom(s), we are now also seeing the emergence of concepts offering shared living and cooking space between a number number of en-suite bedrooms Think student shared accommodation but for the business world, with a target audience ranging from graduates to colleagues on work projects.“The new generation of brands tends to put connection first. Access to the local neighborhood as well as like-minded guests provide an opportunity to feel part of a tribe, even if one is far from home.

Innovations in the serviced apartment sector

Flexible spaces, greater adoption of technology and digitalization as well as the growing importance of ESG are also driving innovation in the sector, according to HVS.Another operator shortlisted for the Think Global People and Relocate Awards Serviced Apartment Provider of the Year, numa symbolizes the changes in the sector. Its technological orientation makes it work without personnel on site. In a broader trend accelerated by the shared experience of the Covid-19 pandemic when contactless check-in practices were refined, customers are checking in digitally and have round-the-clock access to an experienced team customer by phone, WhatsApp or Facebook.As cost pressures increase for customers and operators, innovations like these help manage margins and cost per stay and make serviced apartments a very attractive option for business travel and travel. extended business trips, as well as for short-term international moves.

Serviced apartment design keeps pace with hybrid work preferences

Commenting on the latest findings from the HVS Serviced Apartment Sector in Europe report, Guus Bakker, EMEA CEO of Frasers Hospitality, winner of last year’s Think Global People and Relocate Awards Serviced Apartment Provider of the Year – Global/Regional Category and shortlisted again this year, said global mobility is expected to pick up in today’s job market. “While the hospitality industry in general faces the prospect of a continued reduction in business travel, the serviced apartment sector will return to its core business: extended corporate stay. Global mobility will experience a rapid recovery in a very buoyant job market.”On the impact of international remote work and the need to work face-to-face with colleagues on projects in one place, serviced apartments designed around co-living meet customer needs. “Well-designed serviced apartment social spaces are an opportunity to facilitate human connection, foster creativity, and keep individuals and teams engaged, aligned, and productive in the age of hybrid working,” says Hans Meyer, co -founder of Zoku.

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For more, see the Spring 2022 issue of Think Global People.


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