Central London Marketbeat provides an overview of the occupational and investment markets across Central London on a quarterly basis. It summarises the property market fundamentals, such as take-up, supply and rents in the main markets - City, West End and East London.
Take-up in Q1 2019 reached 2.47 million sq ft, which was in line with the five-year Q1 average but 7% below the volumes transacted in Q1 2018. Take-up has been characterised by several large transactions taking place each quarter, but the start of 2019 saw a reduction in the number of 100,000 sq ft deals, with just two taking place in the first three months of the year.
Volume of Space
Despite what might be seen as a relatively subdued start to the year in terms of leasing activity, the volume of space under offer was 13% ahead of the five-year average, with 3.1 million sq ft under offer across Central London at the end of March.
Supply had seen a slight uptick at the end of 2018, but Q1 2019 saw the return of a decline in the volume of available space on the market. At the end of March, there was 12.6 million sq ft available which equated to a vacancy rate of 4.65%. Supply was 11% below the ten-year average at the end of the quarter.
Q1 2019 investment volumes reached £2.04 billion, which was 10% below the same period in 2018, and 42% below the five-year Q1 average. Unlike the last few quarters, demand was characterised by £50-100 million transactions. UK buyers were the most active in the first quarter of 2019, accounting for 44% of investment volumes across Central London. This was followed by investors from the Asia Pacific region who accounted for a further 22% of investment activity.
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