London office update 4th January 2013

Total take up of space within London in Q4 2012 rose 10% on Q3 2012 figures, according to new research by BNP Paribas Real Estate.

However, when comparing 2012 to 2011, central London take up fell overall by 11% to 9m sq ft.

The research also revealed that take up fell in all London submarkets in Q4 2012, with the exception of the City, where take up has risen by 45% to 1.4m sq ft. In the West End take up dropped by 2% to 0.69m sq ft, in Midtown take up fell by 35% to 0.22 sq ft and in the Docklands take up dropped by 52% to 0.09 sq ft.

2012 saw the TMT sector continue to grow within London, now occupying 26% of the market, compared to 23% in 2011. The insurance industry has also slightly increased its market share, accounting for 10% of the market in 2012, compared to 8% in 2011. Take up from the banking and finance sector has continued to drop and now accounts for only 12% of the market, a fall of 6% compared to 2011.

BNP Paribas Real Estate’s MD of central London, Dan Bayley said: “Although there were some major deals in the last quarter across Central London, the City witnessed the most significant activity, with a number of large lettings to the insurance sector. “Looking ahead, we expect 2013 to be another challenging year, with transactions led mainly by lease events such as regears.

There is unlikely to be as much activity this year from the insurance sector, but expect legal sector demand to recover. “In addition, continued growth in the tech and media sectors will drive rents and take up in emerging locations such as Clerkenwell, Shoreditch and the Southbank.”