Metropolis Office Requirements – Q1 2015

9.6m sq ft of demand

The Metropolis team researched over 455 UK company office requirements in Q1 2015, representing 9.6m sq ft of office demand.

5.5m sq ft of this demand was for space in Greater London, 4.3m sq ft of which was demand for central London space. 4.1m sq ft of demand was identified by our team in the rest of the UK.

Demand for City of London space continued to be strong during Q1, with 2.1m sq ft required in over 91 planned office relocations. Four of the top five requirements by size were searches by banks with the other a significant requirement from a major accountancy firm. The top five requirements were moves planned in 2016, 2017 and 2018. EC2 demand made up 42% of the total central London space required.

0.8m sq ft of demand was identified in the West End of London, 0.5m sq ft in London SW1 and 0.3m sq ft in London W1. Two of the top five requirements by size were searches by banking and finance companies. All of the top five largest moves are planned for late 2015 and 2016.

Mid Town office demand was mainly focused on London WC2, with two of the largest requirements centered on this postcode. One of the most significant requirements identified was an 80,000 sq ft HQ search by a TMT company planning a move in 2017.

In London SE1, where 0.3m sq ft of demand was researched, the largest requirement came from a construction group. In E14, a 400,000 sq ft requirement from an investment bank made up 66% of the 0.6m sq ft of total demand for offices in the area.

Banking & Finance sector UK office demand reached 2m sq ft in Q1 2015. The largest searches centered on the City of London and Docklands, although there was a notable search for 175,000 sq ft of space in central Birmingham.

0.8m sq ft of demand was identified from the Technology & Telecoms sector, and similar to banking and finance was largely focused on the City of London. There were however also significant searches for space in Manchester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The largest government requirements were for space outside of central London, the most significant a search for over 400,000 sq ft in Manchester. The largest media sector requirements centered on fringe central London locations and the top three law sector requirements were for space in Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol.

 
Metropolis is currently tracking over 700 unique searches for space in London and over 400 in the rest of the UK.

 

DemandbysectordemandinLondon

 

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Top Ten London Business Sectors

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For the sixth year running, Banking and finance leads dominate the London business sector top ten. The largest search for space emerging from this sector in 2014 was a 300,000 sq ft requirement for HQ offices in London EC3, closely followed by a 200,000 sq ft office requirement in London EC2 and a similar sized requirement from a bank looking in EC4. Total new office demand in London from this sector was 4m sq ft.

Office demand from hedge funds amounted to just under 250,000 sq ft, with the average requirement a search for about 10,000 sq ft and the most popular postcodes London W1, SW1 and WC2. Demand from financial investment firms was 800,000 sq ft, with the most popular postcodes London EC2, EC3 and EC4.

Newly identified office demand from the media sector in London was about 2.5m sq ft. The largest search was a 300,000 sq ft requirement for HQ space in London W6. Other significant searches focused on London EC1 and SE1. The technology and telecoms sector, often grouped with Media under the banner “TMT”, had a similar preference for space in these postcodes, with space in WC1 and N1 also of considerable interest. Technology and telecoms demand for London offices was just over 1.5m sq ft.

 

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London office demand from the law sector remains strong, with 2m sq ft of new requirements identified last year. London EC2 and EC4 remain the most popular postcodes for this sector, although a significant number of 30,000 sq ft searches centered on London WC1 and WC2. There were over 40 confirmed law firm lettings last year, with 50% of firms yet to move.

New insurance sector office demand centered on London EC3, with 700,000 sq ft of space required in this postcode last year, matching 2013 demand. Another 300,000 sq ft was required by this sector, mainly in EC2.

In central London, Metropolis identified just over 14m sq ft of new requirements for offices. The top 5 most sought after postcodes areas by demand were: EC2 (3m sq ft), EC3 (2m sq ft), EC4 (1.6m sq ft), E14 (1.5m sq ft) and W1 (1.4m sq ft).

 

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There is currently a healthy level of competition for good quality completed and pipeline space in central London. We expect 2015 to be another good year for London fit-out, as companies continue to occupy space pre-let in previous years.

According to our research office take up in 2014 reached 12.7m sq ft, up 5% on the 2013 total. Take up in 2015 is also likely to be strong, but may not grow again by quite the same margin. Metropolis is currently tracking just over 12m sq ft of live office requirements in London and is picking up moves, on average, over 18 months before a deal is signed.

Copyright Metropolis Property Research Ltd, January 2015

 

Metropolis Office Requirements – Q3 2014

9.5m sq ft of demand

Our team here at Metropolis researched over 370 UK company office requirements in Q3 2014, representing 9.5m sq ft of office demand.

6m sq ft of this demand was for space in Greater London and 4.9m sq ft was demand for space in central London.

Demand for City of London space continued to be strong during Q3, with 2.4m sq ft required in over 60 planned relocations. Three of the top five largest requirements in the City were searches by technology and media companies. EC2 demand made up 37.5% of the total space required.

1.4m sq ft of demand was identified in the West End of London, split equally between requirements for space in London SW1 and W1. Again three of the top five largest requirements were searches by technology and media companies, with two significant searches by financial service sector companies identified.

Mid Town office demand was largely focused on London WC2, with 100,000 sq ft of the 300,000 sq ft required in this postcode attributed to media sector requirements.

Just over 0.6m sq ft of demand was researched in London’s Southbank, 200,000 sq ft of which was triggered by an energy company’s requirement for additional space in the area.

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Similar to H1 results, the Banking & Finance sector is leading the demand for new UK offices, with 1.4m sq ft of requirements in the UK, just over 0.4m sq ft of which is sought in the City of London.

Requirements from media sector companies represented just over 1m sq ft of demand, a 300,000 sq ft requirement in London W1 significantly boosting this figure. Technology & Telecom sector requirements came a close third with 0.9m sq ft of demand. The law sector accounted for 0.8m sq ft of demand and the insurance sector 0.5m sq ft.

 

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Simon Sluszny October 2014

Copyright Metropolis Property Research Ltd

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Metropolis finds movers a year early

Metropolis has analysed the 143 prime, grade A London office deals for new and refurbished office space in signed in the first seven months of 2014. It has then followed the trail of each ‘mover’ to see when its requirement became apparent and how early the original requirement was picked up by its researchers.

The average was reduced by a proportion of firms which made late decisions to expand, despite having no impending lease event. At the other end of the scale, some companies have been tracked through searches which have lasted up to four years

Looking at our prime central London requirements and lettings of high value Grade A space in 2014:

• 143 deals amounting to 4m sq ft so far in 2014

• Metropolis on average ran a story on each of the relocating companies over 11 months before deal was signed. Giving clients prior warning of requirement

• In some cases tracking company and property contacts 2 or 3 years (or in two cases 4 years) in advance of move

• Most of the requirements picked up from detailed research into future lease events

• Some 600 future London requirements remain on the Metropolis database

Some examples include:

The Doctors Laboratory was first identified as on the look-out for a 75,000 sq ft pre-let by Metropolis in October 2011. It eventually signed to take 80,000 sq ft at Stanhope’s 1 Mabledon Place (Halo Building), London, WC1 in July 2014.

Mishcon de Reya, the midtown law firm, was first reported by Metropolis to have a search underway for a new central London HQ in January 2011. After many intervening updates, it eventually signed to take the whole of Africa House in Kingsway, London, WC2 in July 2014.

Tibco Software first told Metropolis that it was looking to relocate its 6,000 sq ft City of London office in November 2011. It signed to take 12,000 sq ft at Salesforce (Heron) Tower in July 2014.

Angel Trains was identified in November 2010 as a company that would need to relocate in advance of a plan to redevelop its London HQ. In July 2014, Angel Trains told Metropolis that it has signed to take nearly 1,580 sq m (17,000 sq ft) of offices on the 5th floor of 123 Victoria Street, London, SW1, for a late 2014 move.

Euromoney first revealed that it was looking to bring together three fragmented office locations into one London HQ in February 2012. In June 2014, it signed for a new headquarters of 4,459 sq m (48,000 sq ft) at 8 Bouverie Street, and 1,672 sq m (18,000 sq ft) at 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4.

Enyo Law LLP, the commercial law firm, has told Metropolis in October 2012 that it had started a search for 10,000 sq ft. In June 2014, Enyo told Metropolis that it had signed for 845 sq m (9,100 sq ft) of offices on the 6th floor of Blackfriars Court, Pilgrim Street, London, EC4.

In conclusion, the majority of high-value London office moves, which have taken place in 2014, were tipped on average a year in advance by Metropolis. In future, a further 600 companies are likely to choose new offices (both new and secondhand) over the next two years.

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Metropolis in 2014

A happy and prosperous 2014 to all Metropolis Blog readers.

This year we plan to bring you an even bigger range of comment and analysis of the UK office demand and supply market on a monthly basis. Features will include focus on various UK regional office markets, trends in the London office market and inside commentary on some of the recent office market reports released by various market commentators.

All articles will feature examples from Metropolis’ huge database of forthcoming office relocation stories, covering small 15 person moves upto the largest 100,000 sq ft requirements.

Sit tight and enjoy the ride!