CENTRAL LONDON OFFICE TAKE-UP RALLIES IN FEBRUARY
Central London office take-up was 1.0m sq ft, a rise of 92% on January and 18% above February 2016, according to the latest figures from Global Real Estate Advisor CBRE.
A total of seventeen transactions of over 10,000 sq ft transacted during the month. The largest transaction of the month saw Freshfields pre-let 255,800 sq ft at 100 Bishopsgate, EC2. In total there were three deals above 100,000 sq ft. Arup pre-let 133,600 sq ft at 80 Charlotte Street, W1 and Expedia acquired 124,200 sq ft at The Angel Building, EC1.
The professional services sector represented the largest proportion of take-up in February at 50% followed by the consumer services & leisure sector (19%).
Availability in Central London rose by 4% to14.7m sq ft. This represents a 22% increase on last February. Despite the increase, availability remained in line with the 10-year average. The Central London vacancy rate rose to 4.5% from 4.2% which was above the 10-year average.
These three large deals are welcome news for the leasing market, although the 12-month rolling total remained just below the 10-year average. We expect take-up to remain steady rather than spectacular for the first half of the year. But we are encouraged by last week’s upgrade to economic forecasts for the UK suggesting growth of 2.0% in 2017. In such circumstances take-up in 2017 might be at least as strong as last year’s total.