London West End Overview

Tenant demand has eradicated the concerns surrounding Brexit. London occupiers are growing, requiring more space within the City and the West End, resulting in demand quickly catching up with supply.

London’s West End saw a significant amount of activity last year, especially from the technology and finance sectors. JLL reported that the volume of transactions included KKR 57,000 sq ft pre-let of 18-19 Hanover Square – the largest pre-let transaction in Mayfair since 2002. As the finance technology market grows, the demand for space will only continue, especially as London’s reputation as the ‘global centre of fintech’ continues to rise. Currently, 17 of the top 50 fintech companies in the world are situated in the capital, including Funding Circle, TransferWise and Nutmeg, so it can be expected more will look to have a presence.

It appears to be ‘business as usual’ despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Leasing activity remains buoyant with 237,000 sq ft under offer during January this year with some large deals including:

  • Paymentsense’s acquisition of the 8th and 9th floors (33,000 sq ft) of the Brunel Building
  • WeWork acquiring the entire building (23,363 sq ft) at 21 Soho Square
  • Lansdowne Partners taking the sixth to ninth floors (18,331 sq ft) at 25 Berkeley Square

With the leasing market proving confident, the pressure on West End office developments is increasing. Savills research shows 68% of all office developments and refurbishments set to complete in London’s West End this year already pre-let. With supply relatively low and the commitment from occupiers willing to pre-let, any space that delivers a premium offering will be highly sought after – a lucrative opportunity for developers, investors and landlords alike.

Some large office space to be completed this year include:

  • Chelsfield Partners redevelopment of the Knightsbridge Estate includes 66,000 sq ft of Grade A office space on Brompton road
  • Derwent London’s Charlotte Street 380,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme will include 321,000 sq ft of offices and has already secured some major pre-lets
  • The Portman Estate’s development of Regent House comprises of 45,000 sq ft of offices
  • Derwent London’s development of the Brunel Building: a new sculptural London landmark offering 238,000 sq ft of office space

London’s West End property market is proving to be a fast-paced and competitive sector. Despite BREXIT, the demand for space is showing that irrespective of the outcome, London will continue to be a key city for business.

Related Posts

Foundation Insights
Mon 12 Feb
Enhancing Commercial Property Value: The Importance of Customer Experience in Office Buildings

Alex Rowbottom