Central London office take-up for the whole of 2018 reached 14.61 million sq ft, which is 14 per cent higher than the long-term average and the highest level since 2014, according to the latest research from global property advisor Knight Frank.
Overall Central London office take-up in 2018 was marginally higher than the previous year, whilst take-up for Q4 2018 totalled 3.82 million sq ft, slightly surpassing the previous quarter of 3.74 million sq ft.
The increase in total take-up comes as 2018 saw more deals over 50,000 sq ft (48) than in the previous 12 months (39), with Q4 2018 witnessing 15 deals over 50,000 sq ft. The largest deals in the quarter were WPP PLC taking 220,000 sq ft at 1 Southwark Bridge Road, McCann Group’s 170,000 sq ft lease at 135 Bishopsgate and WeWork taking 160,000 sq ft at 5 Merchant Square.
TMT (Technology, Media and Telecommunications) was the most dominant sector taking space during 2018, accounting for 27% of all take-up, followed by finance with 19%.
William Beardmore-Gray, Head of Central London at Knight Frank commented: “We are continuing to see business as usual in the Central London office market, despite the fears that companies would put decision making on hold until after the conclusion surrounding Brexit.
“Having seen an increase in take-up in 2018, we are confident that this trend will continue into 2019 and companies will continue to make positive decisions regarding their new offices.
“In fact, the diminishing development pipeline is likely to create a supply shortage as businesses plan ahead of lease breaks and expiries over the next three years, resulting in a short-term squeeze for any companies needing to move during this timeframe.