Fewer office deals at close of 2010 for Central London

THE CENTRAL London office market saw a patchy end to 2010, according to research seen by City A.M., with the total number of deals in the fourth quarter down 19 per cent on the same time the previous year.

Large office rent deals for JP Morgan, Bloomberg and BNP Paribas made up almost half of the 4.5m square feet of space taken, said figures compiled by Equipe Real Estate.

The Square Mile fared even worse than the London average, with deals down 31 per cent compared with the previous quarter and the number of contracts signed for small offices of less than 50,000 square feet falling back to levels last seen in early 2009.

West End office deals were eight per cent down on the previous quarter – the area’s fifth consecutive decline, despite annual take-up rising 13 per cent to 4.6m square feet.

In the City, banking and financial firms made up just nine per cent of office moves, after Bloomberg skewed figures in favour of business services with its deal to build new headquarters on the Bucklersbury House site near Bank station.

“The full year statistics are positive, but detailed analysts shows that the market is still delicately poised,” said Equipe’s researchers. “We are cautiously optimistic.”