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Confidence in the London Office Market Continues its Upward Trajectory in Q3 2018

  • Six transactions in excess of 100,000 sq ft, not seen since 2010
  • Vacancy rate just 4.7% as supply continues to fall
  • Strong pipeline of deals in place for Q4 2018

London, 08 October 2018 – A raft of large acquisitions in the Central London office market in Q3 has driven office take-up in the capital to 9.2 million sq ft so far this year, an increase of 9% on average levels, says Cushman & Wakefield in new data released today.

In Q3 2018, Central London office take up totalled 3.48 million sq ft, including six transactions that were larger than 100,000 sq ft; a number not surpassed since 2010. This takes the number of deals in excess of 100,000 sq ft to twelve in 2018, above the long-term annual average.

At the same time supply levels continued to fall. There is now just 12.6 million sq ft available to lease, reflecting a vacancy rate of 4.7%. The falling vacancy rate, along with a tightening development pipeline, ensured tenants’ interest in pre-letting office space has remained strong.

Prime headline rents in both the City and West End have remained stable at £67.50 per sq ft and £110.00 per sq ft respectively.

More than two-thirds (62%) of Central London take-up in 2018 so far has been in new Grade A space, underlining the increased occupier demand for top quality offices.

Richard Howard, Head of London Leasing at Cushman & Wakefield added: “The London office market is in rude health as we enter the final quarter of the year with plenty of ‘in principle’ deals scheduled to complete. Demand remains high and landlords and occupiers are really embracing the range of leasing models that are now available in our market. Media and tech occupiers continue to target London, accounting for 28% of take up this year in Central London and we are still seeing confident activity amongst financial and banking occupiers, who have committed to 1.7 million sq ft of office space in the capital thus far.”

Patrick Scanlon, Head of UK Offices Insight at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Major businesses have continued to commit their future to London despite Brexit uncertainty. So far this year we have witnessed almost as many 100,000 sq ft deals than in the whole of 2007; the peak of the last cycle. The next twelve months will present challenges for both landlords and occupiers, but there is little doubt that London will continue to play an important role for global business in the longer term.”