London office bonanza as City deals drive record take-up

Emma Haslett
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Up, up and away: London office take-up hit a record high in November (Source: Getty)

Businesses continued to flock to the capital in last month, leasing a staggering 1m sq ft of new office space, according to new figures - boosted by the highest take-up in the City since 2004.

Data by CBRE showed the amount of office space leased in central London rose 36 per cent in November compared with the month before.

The figure was pushed up by three City deals over 100,000 sq ft, including a 125,400 sq ft sublet by Lloyds Banking Group at 125 London Wall, while a co-working provider took 117,700 sq ft at One Poultry, and Hyperion Services signed for 115,800 sq ft at One Creechurch Place.

Business services was the biggest occupier, making up a third of the new take-up, while banking and finance made up 24 per cent.

However, the research also showed availability in the capital fell to 14.3m sq ft, four per cent lower than the 10-year average.

“November has been a record month in terms of take-up, demonstrating the resilience of London and its continued allure across multiple sectors," said Emma Crawford, managing director of London leasing at CBRE.

Despite Brexit it is reassuring to see the banking and finance sector representing nearly a quarter of London office leasing deals last month.

Read more: Office space take-up in London beat a 10-year average last quarter

The bad news for occupiers is that it may become increasingly difficult to find space in the City. Deloitte's London Crane Survey, published last month, showed development activity in the Square Mile had fallen 11 per cent in 2017, with just eight new schemes starting during the six months to September.

However, that followed the highest number of completions in the capital since the turn of the century.

"We’re seeing a continued shift in timings for proposed schemes," said Shaun Dawson, Deloitte Real Estate's head of insight.

"With almost static levels of demolition hovering around 8m sq ft, developers are showing some caution on where and when to deliver schemes to market."

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