CBRE | LONDON COMMERCIAL | JAN - APRIL 2020

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Take-up in Central London totalled 2.4 m sq ft during the first quarter of the year, a decline of 9% on the 10-year Q1 average. Availability saw an increase for the first time since 2018, growing by 11% to stand at 13.9m sq ft. As a result, the Central London vacancy rate increased to 4.5% in Q1. Under offers remained stable at 3.5m sq ft and above the 10-year average by 9%. The investment market had a slow start to the year, with just 24 capital transactions completing during the quarter totalling £1.4bn. A total of 480,500 sq ft of development and refurbishment space completed in Q1 2020, of an anticipated full year total of 6m sq ft. Of the 12.5m sq ft under construction due to complete by 2024, 60% was already let of under offer. COVID-19 will cause delays to completion dates for schemes under construction and crucial construction starts. Prime rents and yields were unchanged across Central London. Active demand was 7.8m sq ft at the end of Q1. This will likely be impacted by COVID-19 as smaller occupiers put requirements on hold.

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