London Office Space Leasing Results, Knight Frank

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Knight Frank Research release first quarter 2012 figures for the Central London office market, which shows a slowdown in activity occurred following on from difficult economic conditions in the latter part of last year.

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London Office Space Q1 2012 results

We are seeing continued strong demand emerging from the technology sector, with household names like Wonga, Money Supermarket and TomTom all active.

Today Knight Frank Research released first quarter 2012 figures for the Central London office market, which shows a slowdown in activity occurred following on from difficult economic conditions in the latter part of last year.

Knight Frank Research believe that evidence of an improving economy in Q1 will buoy demand for office space in London as the year continues, and is consequently forecasting a fall in office supply by year end in the City and the West End.

Tim Robinson, proprietary partner, head of West End Leasing said: “A small drop in take-up was inevitable given the difficult economic backdrop, but we are seeing continued strong demand emerging from the technology sector, with household names like Wonga, Money Supermarket and TomTom all active.

"While supply increased, it is still very low by historic standards with the vacancy rate at less than 6%, compared to a long-run average of 8%. The constrained development pipeline will keep supply levels in check going forward - there is currently 1.6 m sq ft under construction, much of which will not complete until 2013”.

William Beardmore-Gray, proprietary partner, head of City leasing said: “Typically demand for City offices time-lags events in the global financial markets by around six months. So as a consequence of the volatility we saw in the financial markets six months ago, we have seen a weakening of demand in Q1 2012 – though not to the extent that occurred in Q1 2009, when take-up dropped to just 730,000 sq ft. However, I believe these figures tell us where we have been not where we are going.

The economic news has improved in recent months, and a number of insurance and law firms have large office searches in the City, with deals expected to go under offer in the coming months. Consequently, we expect demand to recover as the year progresses, steadily pushing down supply.”

For further information, please contact:

James Roberts, head of commercial research, +44 (0)20 7861 1239
Tim Robinson, head of West End Leasing, Knight Frank +44(0)20 7861 1194
William Beardmore-Grey, head of City Leasing, Knight Frank +44(0)20 7861 1308
Charlotte Baylis, pr executive, Knight Frank, +44(0)20 7861 1744

Ends

Notes to Editors
Knight Frank LLP is the leading independent global property consultancy. Headquartered in London, Knight Frank and its New York-based global partner, Newmark Knight Frank, operate from 196 offices, in 38 countries, across six continents. More than 6,770 professionals handle in excess of US$700 billion (almost £355 billion) worth of commercial, agricultural and residential real estate annually, advising clients ranging from individual owners and buyers to major developers, investors and corporate tenants. For further information about the Company, please visit http://www.knightfrank.com.

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