Firms snap up office space as supply shrinks

 
Kasmira Jefford
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LEASING activity in central London jumped in the second quarter of the year as companies raced to grab office space ahead of an expected supply shortage.

Central London take up reached 2.3m sq ft in the second quarter of the year, up nine per cent on the previous quarter, according to research published today by Cushman & Wakefield.

The City office market was the star performer with a total of 1.8m sq ft of transactions – its highest quarterly figure since third quarter of 2007.

In contrast leasing activity in the West End was below the five-year quarterly average, with just over 510,000 sq ft let in the second quarter, as high prices and limited supply forced companies to look further east.

Just over 4.5m square feet has been let in the first six months, up 33 per cent on the same time last year when 3.4m sq ft was let.

“Leasing activity has been bolstered by the return of the preletting market, driven by an anticipation of future scarcity of supply,” Andrew Parker, head of City agency at Cushman & Wakefield, said.