Office Space Rents Improve in Central London Despite Slump in Take-Up

Positive Rent Trends in Central London

Recent data from property consultancy Savills reveals a noteworthy development in the rental market for top-quality office spaces in Central London, offering a positive outlook for landlords who have faced challenges in a competitive leasing environment.

While the data indicates a slump in total office space take-up, it also presents an encouraging rise in rental rates for prime office properties.

Decrease in Office Space Take-Up

According to provisional figures, the third quarter witnessed a total of 1.94 million square feet (sq ft) of office deals in central London.

However, this figure reflects a 35% decrease compared to the 10-year long-term average and a 24% decline from the five-year average.

The decrease in take-up can be attributed to various factors, including businesses reassessing their spatial requirements for hybrid working arrangements and endeavors to reduce real estate costs.

Landlords Adapt to Changing Tenant Needs

Many landlords have encountered potential tenants who are taking more time to commit to leasing decisions as they evaluate their office space needs in the evolving work landscape.

Additionally, some employers are exploring opportunities to reduce real estate expenditures or relocate from older premises to more modern office buildings.

Steady Demand for High-Quality Office Space

Despite the challenges in overall office take-up, the demand for high-quality office space remains robust.

Notably, average prime rents in London’s West End have seen a substantial increase of 15% over the past year, reaching £150 per sq ft. Similarly, the City has experienced an improvement in prime rents, rising from £85.61 to £88.06.

Market Insights from Savills

Jonathan Gardiner, the Head of Central London Office Agency at Savills, acknowledged the impact of the challenging economic environment on office take-up this year.

He emphasized the growing disparity in demand between prime office properties and standard grade A spaces.

Occupiers continue to express strong interest in office spaces with exceptional Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) credentials.

While there is a promising pipeline of requirements in the market, competition among occupiers for top-tier buildings is expected to intensify due to limited supply.

These insights highlight the evolving dynamics of the Central London office market, where landlords find encouragement in the upward trajectory of prime rents even amid reduced overall take-up.

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