Skip to main content

With continued global changes over the past few months, the knock on impact on the relocation market continues to have its challenges, with many unforeseen circumstances needing constant navigation by K2.

Please find below the latest information we have around the global impacts to you and your mobile workforce, and what K2 is doing to continue to ensure the very best experience is being delivered and received. This update contains new or amended information from previous communications and is subject to change.

We will continue to share updates over the course of this year to ensure full transparency and are working closely with our Partner network to minimise disruption for our clients amidst these challenging times.

Destination services

Serviced accommodation in EMEA

Serviced accommodation availability across Europe continues to be very challenging with limited options, specifically in Poland with cities such as Warsaw and Krakow at capacity. Other cities that are experiencing a significant increase in occupancy and availability include Berlin, Munich, Bucharest, Budapest, Madrid, Barcelona, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The lack of availability in the majority of locations has meant an increase in nightly rates, which is indicative of the market response to the increased demands and not opportunism. Our Partner network has highlighted Berlin as a specific challenge at this current moment, due to a significant shortage of longer term housing – see below*.

K2 are keeping very close to our Partner network and receiving daily updates regarding the pressures and continued outlook. For any planned activity into these areas, we strongly recommend connecting with your K2 Account Manager in advance to check availability and if possible, secure apartments in advance.

European rental market

We are seeing increased activity across all regions as we head into the summer months and many of our Partners are reporting that local markets are becoming even busier than before the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict, in particular Berlin, Munich, Warsaw, Krakow, Madrid, Amsterdam, Budapest and Bucharest.

*It should be noted that the permanent housing market in Berlin is specifically challenging at this point and the projections are that this will continue as we enter the summer. 

Rental properties in Berlin are in high demand, and there is exceptionally low supply. Landlords are receiving a huge number of applicants with hundreds of people applying for the same property. As such, we are seeing that landlords are selecting applicants that can speak German and intend to rent for longer periods of time.

In order to successfully conduct a home search, our teams on the ground are spending additional time researching and locating available properties. Where possible, we strongly recommend forward planning for any assignments into this location.

UK rental market

The housing market in the UK and across some locations in Europe continues to be tough. The RPI in the UK reached 11.1% which is the highest it’s been for the last 10 years.

Tenants are choosing to stay in properties rather than risking to find anything new, which has resulted in fewer properties coming to the market. The properties that are available now have more applicants as more people look to relocate into the UK.

The needs of applicants have also changed since lockdown, with most people still working from home for at least part of the week. Additional spaces for offices are now required, so properties with both an outside space and an additional bedroom or office space are being rented out at a premium. Those relocating are now not restrained by locations that are within easy commute of the office, which has allowed them to look further afield for properties. This has left them competing with the ‘local’ market for what has traditionally been more of a local commuter belt community.

While the landscape is challenging, K2 are working closely with our assignees to manage expectations and provide advice. We have a well established home search team who are experts within their local area, and are able to monitor the market daily to keep track of what is available for assignees before they come to market.
K2 will continue to deliver expert relocation support and open communication amidst the challenging market. Please reach out to your dedicated K2 Account Manager who will be able to provide you with further service information.

US and APAC rental market

Availability across APAC and the Americas continues to be impacted with high occupancy levels and rate increases in major cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, Miami and San Francisco. Due to limited availability in major cities across the Americas, our Partners are expanding their offerings to bordering cities, to be able to offer clients attractive alternative properties. Our Partners are also working closely with their real-estate operators to expand their networks and acquire new inventory to meet the rising demands.

Across the Americas, we are seeing a number of landlords now asking for guarantors for tenants looking to rent a property. A guarantor is essentially a third party co-signer who guarantees payment on the lease of a property if it otherwise can’t be made. Whilst there are a number of potential guarantors (i.e. a family member, friend, colleague, or your employer), we often find that using an institutional guarantor is the most common route for inbound non-US citizens with no US credit history. Institutional guarantors are financial institutions that are willing to accept the financial liability of the rental contract in exchange for a fee.

There has been a concentration of requests for guarantors in the New York market, but we have also seen isolated cases in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, Nevada, California and Florida.

Where possible, we will determine if a guarantor is needed prior to any rental property viewings, but please reach out to your Account Manager who will provide you with additional information on a case-by-case basis.

Global shipping and logistics


Covid is still proving to be a challenge in parts of Asia. China continues to lock down ports and cities as the number of cases continue to rise, which is resulting in sustained pressure on the global shipping and logistics industry, and specifically, container availability.

In Shanghai, customs are closed and only virtual surveys can be undertaken, with no operations possible. In Beijing and Shenzhen, customs are open but with delays. Physical surveys can take place in non-restricted areas and operations remain normal, with some exceptions to restricted residential areas.

The pressure on cost and extended timelines continue. K2’s approach to shipping means that we constantly look for alternative ways to ship goods which help to reduce costs and shipping times and your account manager will continue to talk to you about these challenging cases.

USA (East Coast & West Coast)

The impact of the ongoing war in Ukraine, inflation, and consumer demand, has caused disruption in the USA, with further delays expected during the busy season of Summer.

We are currently looking at a timeframe of around 2-4 weeks for clearance and delivery once a container arrives in at its destined port. In-land delivery points may exceed this time-frame, but where possible, we are working with our Partners to ensure minimum disruptions.

We are also expecting to see an earlier than normal peak season, with US ports preparing for elevated volume as the US hits summertime.

South America
Sea shipments out of Chile are proving to be extremely challenging, with some destinations having no availability. For some shipments, K2 are working closely with our Partner network to move containers via another country (trans-shipments).

In Brazil, we also have limited availability to book containers. We are again working closely with our Partner network to find alternatives to export shipments out, without causing a huge increase in freight charges.

Service delivery in Ukraine and Russia


As life begins to stabilise in some parts of Ukraine, we are very pleased to report that our one of Partners has reopened their doors for business and operating out of Kyiv for DSP services. They are mostly assisting with departures, renewals and property checks for those families that left Ukraine.

Additionally, our partner network in Russia and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries are operating, but we are assessing each individual move to ensure compliance and safety protocols are adhered to.

Other updates include:

All trucks from non-sanctioned countries are allowed to go in and out Ukraine, with all transportation now going through Poland, including container loading and air shipping. Sea and air transport are not available in Ukraine at the present time.

Unfortunately, due to the situation on the Polish/Ukrainian border, transit will take longer, and freight rates have increased significantly. Currently, storing in Ukraine is not safe due to the possibility of air raids on depot areas.

The following services can now be provided in Ukraine:

  • Pre-move survey (both online and physical if needed)
  • Packing and loading
  • Export customs clearance
  • Transport by road only to most European countries

Finance updates

Via our Finance Partner, we can currently send payments to non-Russian occupied areas of Ukraine in EUR or USD. They are not currently able to make payments in local currency and are unable to guarantee payments will not be paused or held for compliance related reasons/concerns.
A successful payment cannot be guaranteed and typically depends on (but not limited to) checks to where it is being sent in Ukraine, the currency type, and the situation of the local bank.


Despite limited resources and an increase in haulage rates, we are able to continue with moves out of Russia.

The current route for road transport is via the Baltic states and the transit time is approximately 3-5 weeks, Partners are able to carry out export packing services and return shipments back to their Moscow warehouses to wait for the next available truck.

Our Partners  always try to book the trucks in advance to keep any possible waiting time as short possible. If the volume of a shipment is large enough, we may be able to arrange for a live load at an assignee’s residence.

Due to sanctions, haulage to and from Moscow is limited. However, we have established a great partnership with various reliable haulers so may be able to offer some haulage in this area.


K2 are continuing in their support for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, attempting to raise £20,000 in support of those most impacted by the crisis.
Alongside Clients and Service Partners, K2 UK team members will be taking part in this year’s Race to the King, South Downs ultramarathon. By coming together to take on the epic 100km challenge over 2 days on 11th and 12th June, we hope to raise further funds for our Ukraine appeal charity Partner, Proem, through participant sponsorship.

If you would like to support K2 efforts, please visit our JustGiving page. Our thoughts are with all of Ukraine’s people. We support safety and peace and stand with Ukraine.

Immigration updates

Immigration updates (Europe)

Due to the backlog of applications, processing times for visas have doubled, or even tripled in some European countries.

Georgia remains the best option for both Russian and Ukrainian citizens to seek refuge, as the country is visa-free and refugees can live and work there without any permits for up to 360 days.

Uzbekistan has also established visa-free entry for up to 60 days for refugees.

Immigration updates (UK)

The UK immigration process continues to be experiencing significant delays owing to both a backlog of work and diversion of Home Office staff resources to support Ukraine visa applications.

Priority & Super Priority services remain offline for overseas applications and there are now delays in work visa applications within the UK.

Family visa applications submitted overseas are now taking up to 24 weeks to complete, visitor visa applications are quoted as taking 6 weeks and work visa applications submitted in Russia are taking at least 12-14 weeks.

It is vital for overseas assignment planning to factor these delays when considering anticipated start dates in the UK.

Immigration updates (APAC)

As the borders are re-opening after Covid-19, travel is again picking up on most countries in the region. This has increased processing times for passport applications in almost all countries, as passports have expired due to Covid-19. The same goes for visa appointments and processing times which are also slightly delayed, although not to the same extent as we are seeing in Europe.

Delays vary in each country, so we recommend approaching K2 or your service provider to ensure processes are started promptly.

We are seeing that countries such as Hong Kong and Japan are now showing signs of re-opening borders. Japan most recently launched a pilot to allow tourists to enter the country for the first time in over two years. However, Mainland China still remains closed to most travelers and since the government seems to stand by the Covid-zero approach, it appears there is no clear end in sight of the strict quarantine measures.

Immigration updates (US)

For the US immigration process, we still see significantly long waiting times for Consular appointments at US Consulates globally. This is due to the fact that all non-urgent visa services were paused during the pandemic and there is a backlog of applicants waiting for appointments. We are hoping to see the waiting times shorted in length in the coming year.

We are also experiencing heavy traffic in terms of visa applications in other key locations across the world, as more regions are now opening up to overseas skilled workers. Please continue to expect delays with processing times and factor this into any overseas assignment planning.

K2 will continue to deliver expert relocation support and open communication to our clients amidst the challenging market. Get in touch today to find out how we can help.

Leave a Reply