26 May 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Investment transaction volumes in Q1 2016 of offices across the UK were 26 per cent lower than that in the same period last year, according to a briefing by commercial real estate firm Avison Young.
This was reflected in the Central London office market where “recorded transactions fell from the record high in Q4 2015 to stand at £1.99 billion, but were nonetheless higher than the corresponding period in 2015”.
The Central London occupier market remains competitive and although the year got off to a relatively slow start, quarterly take-up of 2.72 million square feet in Q1 was up slightly on the Q4 2015 level.
Take-up levels in the West End remained similar to the final quarter of 2015, with 642,000 sq ft of new lettings reported – 34 per cent below the level reached in Q1 2015. Total take-up in 2015 was 3.46 million sq ft compared with the five-year average of 3.71 million sq ft.
Take-up across the City market as a whole was up by a third in Q1 2016 to stand at 1.27 million sq ft, though this was in itself a third lower than the total for Q1 2015. Take-up for 2015 as a whole reached 5.75 million sq ft.
After a strong year of leasing activity in 2015 (with 2.5 million sq ft of take-up) Q1 2016 has seen a marked reduction in take-up in the Midtown market with only 305,422 sq ft of new lettings, roughly half the amount let in Q1 2015.