London Office Rentals Astonishingly Defy Recession Slump

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Research by CBRE shows that the London office rentals industry is on the rise again.

September recorded the highest figures for London office rentals this year since June.

Central London office leasing activity has taken a step for the better as the amount of transactions across all markets rose for the first time this year in September. Research conducted by commercial agency CB Richard Ellis shows.

This level of activity has seen take up of London office rentals increase for the third quarter of 2011 to 2.7 million square feet, the highest quarterly total of the year so far.

The figure is a welcome surprise compared to London office rentals in the second quarter of 2.2 million square feet, although that is down on the 3.5 million square feet recorded for the same period last year.

Whilst only four deals over 20,000 square feet were completed in September, London office rentals this month was defined by a large number of smaller-scale deals.

Digby Flower, Executive Director, CBRE, said: “Weak economic conditions and concerns about the eurozone debt crisis have been a significant constraint on leasing levels.

However, a second consecutive month of strong leasing activity in Central London has been very good news for the market,” he added.

Overall, office take-up rose in the third largest central London office markets, with Central London rising to 157,000 square feet and the City increasing to 337,300 square feet. The month of September also saw the West End receive a significant jump of 46% to 406,000 square feet, due to Debenham’s decision to take 145,000 square feet of office space at British Land’s 10 Brock Street.

Aerial View of London office rentals West End Marylebone

As as a result of the reduction in space under offer overall, markets continued to fall in September and October except in the City. The trend currently stands at 15% below the year’s most recent peak, in June.

However the figures are still significantly above trend the current national trend, with 2.7 million square feet of space under London office rentals.