Q4 2019 Central London office market report
The Central London office market report finished 2019 strongly and while the general election was a turning point, it still looks set to be a tough year ahead.
Against a backdrop of political uncertainty in the run up to the general election, economic activity was subdued, with growth of just 0.1% in the three months to November. But a greater degree of certainty has returned to the UK with a majority Conservative government and a firm date for the UK to leave the EU on 31st January 2020.
Despite the political headwinds in the final months of 2019, take-up remained robust with 2.8 million sq ft let in Q4, which was 4% ahead of the 10-year quarterly average but down quarter-on-quarter. Nevertheless, annual leasing activity reached 11.5 million sq ft, which was broadly on a par with 2018 volumes, and 8.9% above the 10-year average of 10.6 million sq ft.
Investment volumes were subdued in 2019 with £12.6 billion traded, well below the £18.0 billion transacted in the previous year and the lowest level since 2011. Volumes have been constrained by overseas investors slowing down activity due to the Brexit related uncertainty, while a lack of product has also impacted on volumes. International investors accounted for 69% of all volumes traded in 2019, compared to more than 76% in the previous year.
Read more in the Q4 2019 Central London office market report.