Take-up of London office space reaches highest level since the start of the pandemic, says CBRE

Driven by pre-let activity, take-up of office space in Central London has reached the highest levels since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest figures from Global real estate advisor CBRE.

Take-up saw a boost in August 2021, increasing by 63% month-on-month to 815,700 sq ft. The largest deal of the month saw legal firm Travers Smith pre-let 152,400 sq ft at Stonecutter Court, EC4. The increase saw take-up edge closer towards the 10-year monthly average of 1.0m sq ft, but activity remained below the long-term trend level.

The professional services sector accounted for over a third of August’s activity, but the banking and finance sector remained most active in the last 12 months, transacting on 1.2m sq ft.

In the 12 months to August, transactions totalled 5.6m sq ft across Central London, relative to the market’s annual average of 12.2m sq ft. There were three deals over 100,000 sq ft, all for pre-let space in the City and Midtown.

Even after the completion of a number of large deals, space under offer was up during the month. Total under offers increased by 2%, and as a result ended the month at 3.7m sq ft, above the 10-year monthly average of 3.2m sq ft (+16%). There were seven buildings with more than 100,000 sq ft under offer, including two newly placed under offer during August (326,200 sq ft). The largest saw 221,700 sq ft placed under offer at Paddington Square, W2 across two separate transactions.


The London office market is making real strides in its recovery as confidence returns and companies continue to enact their return to work policies. We anticipate a continued improvement in the market, as the amount of office space under offer exceeds its long-term average in the City by 26% and similarly in the West End and Southbank by 32% and 27% respectively.
Rob Madden, Head of London Office Brokerage, CBRE