Office construction in London hits 20-year peak
The construction of more new office buildings got underway in central London during the past six months than at any point in the past 20 years.
Between October and March, builders began work on 52 office developments with a total capacity of 14.2m square feet – the highest level since the beginning of 2008.
But fears over the possible economic effects of Britain voting to leave the European Union on 23 June remain.
The current development activity is a result of a shortage of commercial space in London that dates back to builders downing tools after the financial crisis of 2008.
Chris Lewis, head of occupier advisory at professional services firm Deloitte, says: “Availability is the lowest it’s been for 15 years. The amount of development we’ve seen feeding through over the past five years has been below average, and as a result there has been very little space completed.”
He adds that the findings show “the pendulum swinging away from landlords back towards tenants, with greater choice leading to more opportunity”.
Any Brexit effect will probably show up later because major development projects are four or five years in the preparation and difficult to halt once they reach construction stage.
The biggest building currently under construction is 100 Bishopsgate, an 867,000 sq ft skyscraper being built by US firm Brookfield Property Partners close to the Gherkin in the City’s skyscraper cluster.
The largest structure to begin construction in the past six months is the 843,000 sq ft Fleet Building at 70 Farringdon Street, on the fringe of the area known as midtown.
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