The London office letting market seems to be on the up.  According to recent figures from CBRE, Central London take-up rose by 33% over the second quarter of 2013 to reach 3.4m sq ft. Central London further saw a 3% increase in availability over the quarter, which reached 17.7m sq ft, marking the highest volume of supply since the fourth quarter of 2009 (18.4m sq ft). The volume of space under offer rose in the second quarter by 4% to reach 3.0m sq ft.  City office take-up also rebounded in the second quarter, rising by 83% to reach 1.6m sq ft, which is the highest level since the third quarter of 2010 (1.8m sq ft).  Demand for newly completed and pre-let space was strong, with both more than doubling to reach 0.4m sq ft respectively.  Please click here to view a copy of the full report (Central London Property Market Review – CBRE Research – Quarter 2 2013).

In light of this apparent optimism in the London office letting market, we’re really pleased to announce that we’ve acted on two of the most significant deals in the quarter so far.

  • 140,000 sq ft at Cannon Place, above Cannon Street Station which will be CMS Cameron McKenna’s new London base of operations when they vacate their existing premises at Aldersgate Street; and
  • 430,000 sq ft (almost all) of The Place (The Baby Shard) at London Bridge, which the newly split News Corp are moving into.

These deals, coupled with a number of other significant deals, plus the Google transaction at Kings Cross (where Hogan Lovells was also involved) are hopefully a sign that (say it quietly!) things are improving.  The City office letting market has been kept going for the last few years by TMT-type occupiers and insurance-related occupiers.  Whilst it might be a while before purely finance driven corporates come back, it is good to see occupiers having the confidence to take space.

Dion Panambalana who acted for both News Corp and CMS Cameron McKenna said, “One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but maybe a few do.  Winning Wimbledon, a second Yellow Jersey and a promising start to the Ashes, plus some major office lettings – what more could anybody want?”