Central London Lettings and Pre-lets – October 2017

Central London office lettings in October 2017 reached a healthy 1.3m sq ft of deals from 60 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month. The October figure exceeds the current monthly average of just under 1m sq ft .

October was characterised by 14 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Dentsu Aegis’ 310,000 sq ft pre-let at 1 Triton Square, NW1, Sidley & Austin’s 120,000 sq ft pre-let at 70 St Mary Axe, EC3; WeWork took 107,000 sq ft at One Poultry, EC3, and Red Bull took 37,000 sq ft at Seven Dials, WC2.

Media topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Dentsu Aegis deal. This was followed by professional services with the large deals involving Sidley Austin and Grant Thornton.  Business services also performed well, helped by the lettings to WeWork and Orega. Office deals ‘under offer’ in central London fell slightly to 3.5m sq ft and pending deal volumes are healthy in nearly all sub-markets.

By area, the City accounted for 32pc of the office floorspace let in October at 414,000 sq ft. The West End saw 553,000 sq ft of take-up, underpinned by Dentsu Aegis. Midtown contributed 147,000 sq ft of lettings. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3.2m sq ft in the City and 2.9m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 718,000 sq ft (55% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space resumed their recent strong showing.

Metropolis research is currently monitoring 630 ‘live’ London requirements, with deals for space of up to 1.8m sq ft due to sign in the next few months.

Cityoffices and Metropolis  has produced its latest London Skyline report for Q4 2017. The report contains details of new office schemes under construction, demolitions underway and projections for future construction. Further details of planning applications and consents, with scheme by scheme detail are listed on the Cityoffices.net website. Details on the report and Cityoffices from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk

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New Lease Research from Metropolis

The London office market has maintained steady office letting take-up during 2017. The latest figures calculated by Metropolis to the end of Q3 2017 reveal office transactions totaling 8.8m sq ft for the first nine months of the year (deals 5,000 sq ft and above). Based on these figures and a number of large office moves under offer, 12m sq ft take up by the end of the year is not out of the question. If 12m sq ft is achieved this would surpass the 11m sq ft of 2016 and match the total for 2015.

The table below breaks down take-up in London in 2017 by the five largest sectors

Sector                             % of take-up
Financial                          20%
Business Services           19%
IT/Computer                   15%
Professional                     12%
Media                                11%

Financial services leads the way, boosted by the large pre-let in the City to Deutsche Bank. Business services comes a close second helped by over 900,000 sq ft of lettings to serviced office operator WeWork. IT has been driven by large expansions by Expedia, Amazon and Spotify. By area, the City has taken around 40% of take-up, with West End, Midtown and Southbank broadly taking 15% each. Docklands has had  a very quiet 2017.

Metropolis has recorded 96 deals for London office space of 20,000 sq ft or more in so far 2017 amounting to 5m sq ft. Business services, underpinned by WeWork deals, takes over 1.2m sq ft of that, followed by 880,000 sq ft of financial sector driven by Deutsche Bank, 600,000 sq ft of IT industry deals and nearly 500,000 sq ft from professional companies (law firms, accountants, consultants). a further 2m sq ft of deals are ‘under offer’ and close to signing in Q4 2017.

Recently some office market analysts have advanced the view that the London office market for moves under 20,000 sq ft is ‘patchy’. So Metropolis went back to all the potential office occupiers contacted in 2016, approaching 2017 lease expiries, to trace what happened next.

Taking a sample from the 700 London-based occupiers contacted during 2016, Metropolis found that, despite the fact that many were simultaneously negotiating with the landlord of the existing office, over 70% of occupiers decided to move, prior to the upcoming lease expiry. The sector with the strongest propensity to move was media and the least likely to move was business services. The larger a company, the slightly higher propensity to move. West End companies were slightly more likely to move than City-based ones.

The last nine months has seen a strong pace of office space pre-lets set by incoming tenants in advance of construction completion. In total, some 4.3m sq ft of London office space, that is currently under construction, has been pre-let. Some of the high profile recent pre-lets included Boston Consulting, Metro Bank taking 67,000 sq ft of offices at 20 Old Bailey, EC4; Boston Consulting and Arup at 80 Charlotte Street, W1; HSBC taking 30,000 at Cork Street, W1 and Kings College at Roman Wall House, EC3.

The most common trigger for pre-let relocation is expansion. Nearly 50% of the space completed over the previous 6 months has now been let and includes big lettings to likes of Universal Music, Cancer Research, XTX Markets, British Council, Cleary Gottlieb, Schroders and Moneysupermarket.

Looking ahead, our research with thousands of London office tenants suggests a robust level of take-up in Q4 2017, although the increasing attractions of serviced office space and Brexit uncertainty could have an impact in the medium term.

Office Moves Planned in July

Metropolis ran 580 business leads on ‘office movers’ in the month of July 2017. If all reported moves were added together the total would exceed 16 million sq ft of office searches and transactions, researched by Metropolis’ unique market led intelligence research team. London was the largest region with 247 leads during month, but there were also strong showings from the South East (63) and North West (62), Scotland (44). IT services and financial were the two largest business sectors planning relocations or agreeing moves during the month.

The business leads covered the whole UK and provided details of the size of the office occupier, its 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 580 July leads. included those on Citi (Citigroup), HMRC, Credit Agricole and WeWork.

The July 2017 leads included 200 ‘identified requirements’. Which means that the company confirmed to researchers that it has current or future plans to search for alternative office space. Of these 200 searches, 134 were new office searches, not previously notified to clients.

The most recent research also included 130 ‘potential movers’ which were mainly longer-term leads on occupiers, considering a relocation, but have yet to make a final decision on whether to search.

Most of the remaining stories covered companies that have 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 2020.

If you would like some information on flexible Metropolis subscription packages, then please email Simon at simon@metroinfo.co.uk

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Cityoffices.net, the sister property leads service to Metropolis, saw a further 33 stories posted in July, covering new development opportunities planning applications, consents, construction starts and development teams in London and major cities. The database now covers over 200 office schemes in the pipeline for construction starts in 2017-2020.

For more information on Cityoffices, email Andy at andy@metroinfo.co.uk

Central London Lettings – May 2017

Central London office lettings in May 2017 recorded just over 600,000 sq ft of deals from 40 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The May figure represents a fall on the 800,000 sq ft sq ft of lettings in April, but the number of deals remains close to recent the monthly average.

May was characterised by six office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Hearst Publishing’s 71,000 sq ft deal at the LSQ Building in Leicester Square, WC2: WeWork took 70,000 sq ft at 1 Mark Square in London, EC2; Man Group taking 41,000 sq ft at 90 Upper Thames Street, London, EC4 and Petrochina taking 35,000 sq ft at the Adelphi Building in WC2.

Media topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Hearst Group deal, this was followed by business services bouyed by the serviced office sector and financial services with large deals involving Man Group and Hambro. Retail also performed well, helped by the lettings to Crabtree and Deliveroo. Office deals ‘under offer’ in central London rose to 3.6m sq ft and volumes are rising in nearly all sub-markets.

By area, the City accounted for 50pc of the office floorspace let in May at 300,000 sq ft – similar to the April level. The West End saw 90,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 167,000 sq ft of lettings. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3.2m 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 150,000 sq ft (25% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space paused from the 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

London Movers Uncovered

Cushman & Wakefield has recently published its ‘Movers & Shakers’ report on London office movers in 2016. Metropolis sets the report’s findings in the context of the most recent 140 new, named, London office requirements researched and published on its database over the last three months in 2017.

C&W’s report looks at 249 transactions over 10,000 sq ft in 2016, which accounted for over 75% of all leasing volumes in Central London. These deals totalled 8.1m sq ft and included 160 deals for properties located in the City & East London and the remaining 89 in the West End or West End fringe.

Companies already located in London moved from a total 5.1 million sq ft, taking 8.1 million sq ft, which equated to a net take up of 3 million sq ft or 37% growth. This contrasts with 2015, when companies expanded by 3.2 million sq ft, but overall London take-up was 1 million sq ft higher.

Expansion was evident across all business sectors. The tech sector saw the greatest expansion in 2016, registering 875,000 sq ft of growth. While banking & financial services expanded by 675,000 sq ft. Retail, media, legal and professional also all had a solid year.

Tech companies increased their footprint three-fold in 2016. Apple’s pre-let of nearly 500,000 sq ft of space at Battersea Power Station was backed by deals to Palantir, Adobe, Deliveroo Facebook, Google and Amazon.

The average actual distance moved during 2016 was just over 1.1 miles, which is down on the distances seen in 2014 and 2015.

Aldgate and Whitechapel recorded positive migration, with the area seeing a large increase in in-movers, including 10 moving in. The refurbishment of the White Chapel building and redevelopment of Aldgate Tower were drivers. Elsewhere in the City fringe, the redevelopment of the White Collar Factory and the Bower have continued to attract companies.

Mayfair and St James’s has continually had more out-movers than in-movers, whilst Aldgate and Whitechapel and Canary Wharf and Docklands have consistently had more in-movers than out-movers on balance.

Cushman & Wakefield estimates that companies new to Central London in 2016 accounted for 4% of total transactions by number or 417,859 sq ft and included significant migration from companies such as Salesforce, Amazon and Tableau Software moving into the capital.

Moving onto 2017, 140 companies in central London have confirmed to Metropolis the launching of new office requirements over the last three months. These include 51 from the City, 6 from Docklands, 7 from Southbank, 40 from the West End core, 12 from midtown and remainder from fringe locations.

Again, new requirements saw finance and tech sectors leading the way with more than 20 new requirements each, followed by media, business services and representative bodies.

Some of the largest examples include Hyperion and Deutsche Bank in the City, Misys and American Express in the West End. If all new requirements are combined, then an extra 2.5 million sq ft of new London office requirements were added to the Metropolis database in the February to May 2017 period.

In the new batch of London requirements researched by Metropolis, 60% of the companies searching are looking for more space than currently occupied, suggesting that the net expansion of office space recorded by C&W in 2016 is likely to continue in 2017.

Corporate Fit-Out Winners 2012-2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London Top 10’s

The Corporate Fit Out Winners 2012-2016

Metropolis Property Research has just released its latest report for the period 2012-2016 on the central London office fit-out market.

The report provides Top 10 Rankings for those firms involved in ‘CAT B’ projects for corporate occupiers taking new space for interior design, project management, fit-out ‘build’, and agents advising tenants.

 

The No 1 TOP 10 firms are:

No 1 Interior Architect  – TP Bennett

TP Bennett has been ranked as London’s No 1 interior architect with 4.7m sq ft of interior design projects for corporate occupiers taking new space 2012-2016.  This is 29% market share amongst the named TOP 10 firms.

 

No 1 Fit Out Contractor – ISG

ISG has been ranked as London’s No 1 fit out contractor with 5.0m sq ft of fit-out projects for corporate occupiers taking new space in 2012-2016.  This is 33% market share amongst the named TOP 10 firms.

 

No 1 Interior Project Manager – CBRE

CBRE has been ranked as London’s No 1 project manager on interior fit out projects with 3.5m sq ft of projects for corporate occupiers taking new space 2012-2016.  This is 24% market share amongst the named TOP 10 firms.

 

No 1 Tenants Agent – CBRE

CBRE has been ranked as London’s No 1 tenant agent with 6.2m sq ft of occupier deals done on new office space 2012-2016.  This is 30% market share amongst the named TOP 10 firms.

 

 

Editorial Notes

In the five-years covered by the research (2012-2016) a total of 57.3m sq ft of new office space has been let in central London. The report has looked at deals of 2,322 sq m (25,000 sq ft) and over – which are the focus of the analysis – and amount to 30.3m sq ft of office space fitted out in 433 projects.

The report ‘London Top 10’s – The Corporate Fit Out Winners 2012-2016’ is available from Metropolis Property Research.   For details please contact simon@metroinfo.co.uk

 

About Metropolis Property Research Ltd

Metropolis Property Research is an independent research and information company established in 1998.   The company carries out research into the London and UK office markets and corporate relocation leads.

Metropolis Website and Blog – http://www.metropolisleads.uk

 

Copyright Metropolis Property Research Ltd 2017

London Lettings – January 2017

Central London office lettings in January 2017 recorded 567,000 sq ft of deals from 35 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The January figure represents a fallback from the exceptional 1.8m sq ft of lettings in December as a more normal level of market activity resumed.

January was characterised by 9 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included the McKinsey’s 97,000 sq ft pre-letting of the under construction Post Building in London, WC1; COS Stores (H&M) took a 60,000 sq ft pre-let at the also under construction 1 New Oxford Street, WC1 and Antares Underwriting took 31,500 sq ft at 21 Lime Street, EC3.

Professional services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the McKinsey deal, this was followed by IT services with large lettings to Nexmo amongst others. Retail also performed well helped by the letting to the H&M. Office deals under offer in central London stayed at 2.1m sq ft after the stream of completed deals.

By area, the City accounted for a modest 34pc of the office floorspace let in January – a fallback even from the 44pc in December. The West End saw 150,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 195,000 sq ft of lettings as much as the City. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 4m 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 an impressive 306,000 sq ft (54% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space maintained their recent strong showing.