New research out this morning shows that roughly 1.8m square metres of office floorspace was taken out of use in the UK in the past year.
The move, equivalent to 248 football pitches, was largely due to changes in working patterns since the pandemic – with the shift to hybrid working, said law firm Boodle Hatfield.
The firm’s study found that London has seen the most amount of office space taken out of use, especially in areas including Westminster and the City.
Hybrid working has led to some businesses significantly cutting down on their office space by subletting or, in some cases, choosing not to renew leases, said the report.
Commercial landlords who are struggling to find replacement tenants were said to be taking properties off the market for redevelopment into better grade office space or for change of use into residential property.
David Rawlence, senior associate at Boodle Hatfield, said: “London has seen significant amounts of office space being taken out use in the past year – with prime central locations accounting for the greatest losses.
“Businesses that have adopted hybrid working models may not be prepared to lease the same amount of floorspace as pre-pandemic or may be unwilling to commit to space which is not ‘Grade-A’.”
Boodle Hatfield said despite the large amounts of space taken out of use, there continues to be high levels of demand for “Grade-A” office space.