Monday 7 January 2019 8:02 pm

Central London office space take-up soars to highest level since 2014

Fresh evidence of the capital’s thriving office space market has been brought to light today, with new figures showing that take-up in Central London last year soared to its highest level since 2014.

Property agents are forecasting that the boom in London’s letting activity will likely carry on into 2019, as supply shortages and persistent levels of demand suggest little sign of a slowdown in take-up levels.

London’s creative industry showed the strongest appetite for more work space in the capital during 2018, with technology, media and telecommunication firms accounting for almost 30 per cent of all take-up.

Central London office take-up for the whole of 2018 reached 14.6m square feet (sq ft), which is 14 per cent higher than the long-term average and the highest level since 2014, according to the latest research from global property advisor Knight Frank.

“We’ve had a perfect market for the last 12 to 18 months,” according to Knight Frank's head of Central London, William Beardmore-Gray. “Will it continue? I think if we have some resolution which is short of a hard Brexit, then we will see the market continue to move in the way that is has done.”

“We are seeing no let up in the expansionary nature of demand across almost all sectors…the tech sector has continued to move forward very strongly.”

Meanwhile, new data from JLL also found that commercial take-up within the City of London has reached its highest levels in three years, with letting activity in the Square Mile hitting 6.5m sq ft in the last 12 months.

Elaine Rossall, JLL’s head of UK offices research, told City A.M.: “The levels of confidence are being shown through the volumes of pre-letting that we are seeing – lots of occupiers committing to space 12 to 18 months ahead of completions.”

She added: “In banking and financial services we would have expected it to be quiet in the last two years, but we’ve seen significant activity in that sector, along with the likes of Google and Facebook taking more and more space too”.