The demand for offices in central London has hit a new record, according to Savills, dismissing concerns that working from home has taken over the Square Mile.
With an eyewatering £3.3bn having changed hands in the City over the past three months, the record figure is nearly a third higher than the previous record in the first quarter of 2007.
The £1.2bn deal for UBS’ Broadgate HQ to LaSalle Investment Management on behalf of NPS – the second largest single transaction on record in the City – buoyed the marked activity in London’s business district.
It signals a massive year-on-year increase of 540 per cent. A trend that has crept to the West End, which has been the heart of more than 260 per cent surge in appetite this quarter, Savills added.
Activity in the West End was dominated by domestic buyers, in terms of numbers, who accounted for some 60 per cent of transactions in the first quarter – while the City continued to catch the eyes of global investors.
The size of assets available in the Square Mile proved particularly enticing on the global real estate plain, the London-headquartered real estate firm said, despite geopolitical and inflationary headwinds.
Stephen Down, head of Central London investment at Savills, called the figures “nothing short of stellar”, a return to “more normal” trading conditions following pandemic restrictions ushered in greater levels of investment.
And the horizon looks bright for central London office property, with a strong volume of stock.
However, “the increased cost of finance and macro-political uncertainty is having a greater impact on buyer decisions in London just as it is around the globe,” Down cautioned.