Media Sector and the London Office Market

The recent signing of a large pre-let of 124,000 sq ft of new London HQ offices by Sony at 4 Handyside Street, Kings Cross has brought renewed focus onto the contribution of the media sector to London’s office market. Metropolis looks at the importance of the media sector to office transactions and relocation moves in London.

In 2018, the technology and media sector once again dominated the London’s leasing profile, accounting for 27% of take-up across central London at around 3m sq ft and signing two of the year’s three largest deals. This is the third consecutive year that the sector has finished the year in the top spot. In many respects, the media and tech sector has been the standard bearer for London’s continued global magnetism

Kings Cross has become a popular destination for the creative and media sector with recent moves agreed with Universal and PRS for Music. In addition, Google and Facebook, which straddle the line between media and technology companies, also chose Kings Cross as their London HQ destinations.

Other large media sector moves announced recently, have included WPP agreeing to centralise HQ functions at 1 Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 and McCann Worldgroup pre-letting nearly 150,000 sq ft at the under construction 135 Bishopsgate, EC2.

Metropolis has also recently run large London moves planned by Publicis, Datamonitor, Ree, Macmillan Publishers and Trade Desk.

Media occupiers have been active across all sub-markets, but they have been particularly dominant in the West End, accounting for over 30% of all activity in 2018. In Midtown, Herbal House, EC1 and The Farmiloe, EC1 attracted a variety of media and creative tenants. Research by Colliers shows that media sector tenants negotiate the shortest lease lengths and therefore the sector is the most likely to be looking for its next move.

Looking ahead, there are 220 London based media companies approaching lease expiries in the next two years. Metropolis is tracking over 130 which have expressed an interest in a move. Future large identified requirements include: 20th Century Fox (80,000 – 100,000 sq ft) and The Telegraph Media Group (70,000 – 80,000 sq ft).

For further analysis and details contact Paul Ives at Metropolis

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Metropolis Movers – A 2018 Review

Metropolis ran over 6,500 business leads on ‘office movers’ in 2018. If all reported moves were added together the total would exceed 100 million sq ft of office searches and transactions, researched by Metropolis’ unique market-led intelligence research team, during the year.

London was the largest region with 2,850 business leads during the year, but there were also strong showings from the South East (710), North West (650), Yorkshire (525), Scotland (441). Financial services, IT and business services were the largest business sectors planning relocations or agreeing moves during the year.

The relocation leads geographically covered the whole UK and provided details of the size of the office occupier, company likely move dates, a description of the reasons for the move, its business sector and full contact details including an address for written inquiries, at least one telephone number and in most cases an email address. Some of the largest planned moves and top picks amongst the 2018 leads, included those on occupiers Facebook (new London HQ), AstraZeneca (Cambridge base), Chinese Embassy (new London HQ), Barclays Bank (Manchester and Glasgow campuses), WPP (new London base), Jane Street Capital, McCann Worldgroup and many, many more.

The 2018 leads included nearly 1,800 ‘identified requirements’, including 1,100 in London. Which means that the company confirmed to researchers that it has current or future plans to search for alternative office space. Of these 1,800 searches, nearly 1,200 were newly posted office searches, not previously notified to clients.

The research over the year also included 1,900 ‘potential movers.’ These were mainly longer-term leads on occupiers, considering a future relocation, but the occupier has yet to make a final decision on whether to search.

Most of the remaining stories covered companies that have just signed for new office space and have set a move date, including some large pre-lets and companies inviting tenders for fit-out contracts. The shortest planned move date is just over a month away, whilst the longest was late 2022.

Research by Metropolis during the year, concluded that a conservative estimate of ‘live’ business tender opportunities on the database in recent months, exceeded £1bn of business.

If you would like some information on flexible Metropolis subscription packages, then please email Andy or Paul at andy@metroinfo.co.uk or paul@metroinfo.co.uk, mentioning ‘Metropolis Blog’

London Office Lettings in May 2018

Central London office lettings in May 2018 reached over 1.3m sq ft from 45 mid-large size office transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month. The May 2018 figure is above the current monthly London average of 1m sq ft.

May was characterised by 14 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which were led by the Chinesse Embassy’s deal to take Royal Mint in EC3; The Office Group’s 83,000 sq ft letting at One Canada Square, E14 and Epiris Advisers’ 59,000 sq ft at The Forum in Gutter Lane, EC2.

Public Services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by Chinese Embassy deal. This was followed by business services led by a number of lettings by serviced office operators. Financial services, technology and media were also well represented. Office deals ‘under offer’ in central London increased to 3.4m sq ft, and pending deal volumes are healthy in nearly all sub-markets, with a large number of deals pending.

By area, the City accounted for 70pc of the office floorspace let in April 2018 at 912,,000 sq ft. The West End saw 209,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 57,000 sq ft of lettings, plus 83,000 sq ft of Docklands deals. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3.2m sq ft in the City and 2.6m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 1m sq ft sq ft (77% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space resumed their recent strong showing. Availability is dominated by secondhand space in all London markets.

Metropolis research is currently monitoring 640 ‘live’ London requirements, with deals for space of up to 1.8m sq ft due to sign in the next few months.

Cityoffices is working on its current ‘Skyline Survey’ in London. Further details of office scheme planning applications and consents, with scheme by scheme detail are listed on the Cityoffices.net website. Details on the report and the Cityoffices database from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk

Central London Office Lettings – April 2017

Central London office lettings in April 2017 recorded nearly 800,000 sq ft of deals from 41 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The April figure represents a fall on the 1.05m sq ft sq ft of lettings in March, but remains close to recent the monthly average.

April was characterised by 13 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Nex Group’s 111,000 sq ft sublet at Fruit and Wool Exchange: Wither’s 60,000 sq ft pre-let at 20 Old Bailey in London, EC4; BUPA taking 56,000 sq ft at Angel Court Tower, London, EC2 and Equinix taking 29,000 sq ft at the Pepper Store in EC2.

Financial services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Nex Group deal, this was followed by business services bouyed by the serviced office sector and professional services with large deals involving Withers and DLA Piper. Property and construction also performed well helped by the lettings to M7 Real Estate and Sir Robert McAlpine. Office deals ‘under offer’ in central London rose to 3m sq ft and volumes are rising in nearly all submarkets.

By area, the City accounted for an improved 57pc of the office floorspace let in April at 440,000 sq ft – 50% up on the March level. The West End saw 160,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 130,000 sq ft of lettings. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3m sq ft in the City and 3m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 469,000 sq ft (60% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space maintained their recent strong showing.

Cityoffices and Metropolis are shortly to release its twice yearly Skyline report on the London office construction market. The summer report features details of the 100 schemes under construction and the trends for the next wave of schemes. Details on Cityoffices from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk