Office demand drops as Workspace reports 33 per cent fall in enquiries
Workspace remains optimistic about the future of London’s office work despite a sharp drop in enquiries throughout the pandemic.
This morning’s results show the group averaged 672 enquiries per month in the third quarter, a 33 per cent drop from the previous year.
Lettings per month also fell by 3.4 per cent to 109, driven by the exit of customers who had given notice on their departure earlier in the year.
Like-for-like rent per sq ft dropped 5.3 per cent, resulting in total rent roll plummeting 8.7 per cent to £107.9m.
Graham Clemett, CEO of Workspace, said: “The last nine months have certainly been challenging for society, our customers and our business.
“Despite near-term uncertainty, we are seeing signs that customers are starting to look through the pandemic and we believe that our strategy, business model and differentiated customer offer position us to outperform over the medium and longer term.”
Early fourth quarter signs
Having seen an increase in enquiries and lettings to near pre-Covid levels in the second quarter, government restrictions over the Christmas period saw a decline in customer activity.
Early signs in the fourth quarter are promising despite the renewed lockdown, with 622 enquiries and 241 viewings in the period up to 26 January.
Clemett added: “The timing and pace of our recovery will depend on the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines and lifting of government restrictions.
“I am confident that once we return to more normal market conditions, our unique character, properties and truly flexible offer will be attractive and relevant to an ever-wider range of businesses across London.”
Workspace boast a collection of iconic buildings in 60 locations across the capital, including offices and workshops in Camden, Waterloo and Whitechapel.
It has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1993 and owns over 4 million sq ft of business space across a wide range of sectors.