London offices leading the economy?

Market updates by four London agents this week suggest the London office letting market is becoming one of the most positive indicators that the UK economy has started recovering.  Just-released data from Knight Frank, Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle points to a second consecutive quarter of above 3m sq ft of office lettings.

The reports use phrases such as “a new cycle” and “the tipping point of the market is close” as part of an upbeat assessment, which includes predictions of a further 1.2m sq ft of deals due to be signed in the next two months, leading to nearly 7m sq ft predicted to be transacted in the City alone, this year, together with a 5% increase in rents.

Metropolis letting figures for London back this up, with office take-up nearly 20% ahead of the same point in 2012 and an increase in the number of central London requirements for 2014 and 2015. However, this is slightly tempered by a shortage of deals in regional cities, which continues to subdue the overall office market activity for the whole UK.

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