Central London office analysis
DATA & ANALYSIS
OCCUPIER MARKET IN BRIEF
The continued spread of Covid-19 and the restrictions implemented as a result continued to limit activity during the final quarter of the year, with November seeing a new national lockdown. During the final quarter of the year, we saw just 875,000 sq ft let bringing the annual total to just 5.1 million sq ft – comparable with figures last seen in 2003 and well below the post-GFC nadir of 6.5 million sq ft transacted in 2009.
INVESTMENT MARKET IN BRIEF
There were signs of life in the final quarter of the year as investment volumes reached £3.6 billion, with £1.7 billion transacted during December alone while Asian and European investors were particularly active. To put this into perspective, this was similar to the levels we saw in the final throes of 2018 – although nothing compared to the stellar volumes that were transacted during the end of 2019.
Central London Occupier market
Central London take-up fell for the fifth consecutive quarter to 875,000 sq ft in Q4 2020 which was 14% below the previous quarter and 64% below the 10-year average. As opposed to Q3 2020, activity was fairly evenly spread across the quarter’s months with December being the strongest, accounting for 42% of take-up.
Central London Investment market
Investment volumes totalled £3.6 billion in the final quarter of 2020 – over three times the volumes of Q3 2020. This figure also exceeds the 10-year quarterly average for the first time since Q4 2019 albeit only by a marginal 2%. Across 2020, investment totalled £7.8 billion, with low volumes in Q2 and Q3 contributing to the 46% shortfall on the 10-year average.
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