A report that measures the volume of office development taking place within central London has concluded that total volume of space under construction across central London has risen once again, rivalling levels last seen in 2009. Available office space continues to be in short term supply and completions in 2015 have done little to alleviate this.
The Deloitte London Office Crane Survey was carried out between April 2015 and October 2015. A team of researchers walked every street in central London, including the City, the West End, Docklands and the Southbank, recording all office construction or refurbishment of 10,000 sq ft plus.
The survey found that:
•Office construction is up by 18% over the past six months, the second successive rise since 2013
•26 new starts have been recorded, adding 3m sq ft to the pipeline
•21% rise in let space under construction
•2015 to deliver lowest level of completions in three years
•11.1m sq ft of space under construction across central London over the past six months
•7m sq ft of space under construction is available to let – a rise of 15% over the past six months.
Overview of construction activity
Who is building?
Institutions account for 39% of the current volume of office construction. REITs, which account for 19% of the space under construction, down from 21% six months ago.
Where is the construction?
The City and West End account for 73% of the total volume of construction: there are 13 new starts in The City totalling 2m sq ft and four new starts in the West End down two-thirds from six months ago.
Midtown: six new starts equals the number started in our last Crane Survey.
Southbank: first new start in over 12 months.
Paddington: first new start since 2014.
TMT occupiers continue to be the most active sector, accounting for 44% of the let space under construction.
The financial sector accounts for 27% of space leased.
Building up London: Key points
2015 to deliver lowest levels of completions in three years: A move in completion dates has beset a number of schemes, pushing them into 2016; the picture is one of low supply for 2015.
The window for pre-letting remains open: Continued tightening of supply in the short-term and a rise in space let before completion will potentially lead to increased levels of pre-letting.
Future of construction in London
Developers continue to target 2018-19 for delivery; the forecast shows the amount of space predicted to be delivered is above average supply in 2018-19, but capacity constraints could impact the speed of delivery.