West end office latest 8th April 2013

The spring 2013 edition of the West End Office Update has now been released by the Cluttons Research team.



Finishing the year in ying-yang fashion, the West End continued to be subject to polarised activity. It was a case of "more of the same" for stagnant take up, while the "international investor influx" is expected to intensify as sliding Sterling premiums look set to add to buoyant 2012 volumes.



London as a whole, has received some "big wins" of late highlighting its dynamism when it comes to attracting corporates, and despite peripheral mega schemes growing in stature as we head into a new year the West End continues to be of preference for many looking to bed down roots.

 

A west to east re-locational flow, commitment and consolidation rather than retraction and retrenchment further underpin the capital's attraction, and as space remains restricted occupiers continue to take an open minded approach to location when it comes to the securing of adequate stock bolstering prelet numbers. West End supply, sitting increasingly unbalanced on its demand seesaw, continues to face toppling tensions, and again reins in letting options. A

 

blurring of submarket boundaries continues to emphasise the underlying change in locational preferences while growing the stature of certain submarkets and despite activity in large, intensifying in areas away from Mayfair and St James's, prime rents still continue to hold up.



Reforms of office to residential conversions and debt de-leveraging are set to further shape both the existing and future supply pools, however, it is still uncertain as to the true impact this will have on delivery of new stock, and subsequent outcome on submarket vacancy rates. Occupiers continue to watch bottom lines holding a preference for mid rent smaller floor plates, but, one thing is for certain, cheap stock certainly will not suffice.