Big deals boost Central London offices activity – CBRE

The Central London offices market was active in the second quarter of this year, with take-up rising 32% above the previous quarter’s level according to new research from CBRE.

The firm notes that there were three deals of more than 100,000 sq ft during Q2 2013: 205,800 sq ft to Amazon at Sixty London EC1, 138,300 sq ft to Bird & Bird at 12/14 New Fetter Lane EC4, and 111,800 sq ft to Amlin Insurance at The Leadenhall Building EC3. A further eight deals of more than 50,000 sq ft – the highest number since Q4 2010 – helped to take total take-up for Central London offices to 3.4m sq ft for the quarter.

This puts the year-to-date total at 5.9m sq ft, which is significantly above the 4.7m sq ft seen at the same point in 2012, CBRE points out.

Activity rose across a wide range of business sectors during Q2, the firm adds, with similarly heightened take-up from firms within banking and finance (18%), business services (18%) and TMT sectors (19%).

Take-up of City office space rose to 1.6m sq ft, the highest for almost three years and above the 10-year average of 1.2m sq ft. In the West End office market, take-up was 41% above the previous quarter but on a year-to-date basis it remains slightly behind the same point last year.

Chris Vydra, executive director, City agency at CBRE, says: “The increases in take-up across Central London seen this year along with rising under offers have led some to call the turning point in the market. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but the heighted levels of activity are supporting our forecasts of a steady improvement in the occupational market and a return to rental growth.”