London’s office development at seven year high with over 11 million sq ft under construction
10 November 2015
The construction of offices in central London continues to grow as development activity increased by 18% in just six months. The latest London Office Crane Survey by Deloitte Real Estate has recorded 26 new schemes under construction, adding three million sq ft into the development pipeline. Total space now under construction in central London is 11.1 million sq ft, spread across 77 schemes.
Steve Johns, head of City leasing at Deloitte Real Estate, says: “Cranes will be dominating London’s skyline for the foreseeable future as construction activity keeps pace with healthy occupier demand. 4.3 million sq ft of the 11.1 million sq ft under construction has already been let, up 22% from our last survey. Looking ahead, developers’ sentiment remains high, as 21 of the new starts totalling 2.6 million sq ft are speculative developments.”
Construction in the City is up by a quarter, with 13 new starts adding a further two million sq ft into the pipeline. This takes the total amount of space being built in the City market to 5.7 million sq ft. Activity has also risen in Midtown, where six schemes have started and a total of 1.3 million sq ft is now underway, while the West End has seen a five per cent increase in activity this survey, bringing its pipeline total to 2.4 million sq ft.
Leasing of buildings under construction is dominated by technology, media and telecoms (TMT) firms taking 44% of the space currently under construction. This is followed by the financial sector taking 27% of space. “The financial sector has increased its share of the space on six months ago and we believe that this trend will continue with requirements from financial firms fulfilled by taking space under construction,” adds Johns.
Will Matthews, head of research at Deloitte Real Estate, says: “We expect that just 3.3 million sq ft of space will complete in 2015, the lowest amount for three years. Looking ahead though, the development pipeline for 2017-19 is filling up as work commences on new schemes. We have also recorded a further 24% upsurge in sites being demolished and readied for construction, meaning early indications are that space completed in these years will exceed the long-run average. Developers will be mindful of the fact that this rise in office construction comes at the same time as high levels of residential and infrastructure development, increasing competition for available construction capacity.
“Ultimately the rise in office development recorded in our latest crane survey comes after five years of relatively low delivery, which has exacerbated the current shortage of available Grade A stock. This new space will not be completed for some time and we forecast further upward pressures on rental levels in the short term.”
Notes to editors
About the London Office Crane Survey:
Deloitte Real Estate’s London Office Crane Survey is the definitive review of commercial construction in central London, and is seen as a barometer of developer sentiment and future office supply. The report measures the volume and impact of office development (new build, or significant office refurbishments, of 10,000 sq ft or more) currently taking place across central London and analyses the pipeline of future development over the next five years.
The London Office Crane Survey is published every six months, with the last edition released in May 2015. The data in this report is correct as at 30th September 2015, and covers seven major central London office markets: The City, Docklands, King’s Cross, Midtown, Paddington, Southbank, and the West End.
Deloitte Real Estate’s collection of central London development data commenced in 1982, and the first London Crane Survey was published in 1996.
Deloitte Real Estate’s commercial property research team is focused on producing thoughtful and insightful publications, as well as comprehensive bespoke reports for investors, developers and occupiers.
About Deloitte Real Estate:
Deloitte Real Estate redefines the concept of a full-service real estate business, offering a breadth of capability and an innovative approach unequalled in the market.
Our team combines traditional property services with financial and business advisory expertise to deliver integrated solutions on the most simple assignment to the most complex. We apply a depth of insight drawn from our understanding of all industries and sectors to advise occupiers, lenders, investors and the public sector on every aspect of real estate in an increasingly complex world.
About the survey
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