The City dominates development activity as largest volume of office space completed in London since 2004

 
Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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London's Economic Boom Continues
The City’s construction pipeline spans 8.2m sq ft (Source: Getty)

Nearly 4m square feet of new central London office space was completed in the last six months, the largest volume delivered in 13 years.

The City dominates development activity with 10 new schemes totalling 1.9m sq ft starting construction, according to Deloitte real estate's London office crane survey.

The City’s construction pipeline spans 8.2m sq ft in total. However, Deloitte said this represents a seven per cent decrease but "comes after a number of large schemes having completed in the last six months".

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The West End saw the largest drop in construction activity, down 27 per cent in six months. Meanwhile, Midtown and Southbank’s development activity rose by nine per cent and six per cent respectively.

The survey also found that the total office space currently under construction across the capital is 13.9m sq ft, a six per cent decrease from the previous survey (14.8m sq ft).

Shaun Dawson, author of the London Office Crane Survey at Deloitte, said: “The sheer volume of completed space is no surprise given the surge in development activity 18 months ago. In total 4.4m sq ft completed in 2016 and this momentum has continued into 2017, we expect this year’s annual total delivery to be the highest since 2003.”

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Nigel Shilton, managing partner at Deloitte real estate, added: “The decrease in overall volume of space under construction could suggest that developers have slowed down, yet this is more a result of timing and two years of elevated levels of construction completing rather than developers holding off.

"Demolition levels remain high at 7.9m sq ft, which chimes with the sentiment of our surveyed contractors who expect a rise in workload over the coming 12 months. Looking at the development pipeline, we forecast around 39m sq ft to be delivered by 2021. Very few schemes have been cancelled, highlighting continuing developer confidence.”

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