First quarter leasing data from Cushman & Wakefield has found that there is currently 19.1 million square feet of space available in London. Of that amount, 7 million are controlled by tenants that are trying to reduce their real estate footprint.
This is a 9% increase compared to the previous quarter, which means that 7% of all space for rent is controlled by tenants.
While vacancy rates reached its highest rate since 2013 at 6.8%, it is still lower than the peak of 7.8% that occurred during the financial crisis of 2008.
In the first quarter, leasing activity stayed well below the average. Although the 1.28 million square feet of deals that occurred during the quarter was 117% higher than the fourth quarter of 2020, it still fell much lower than the five-year average of first quarter deals.
“Whilst sentiment seems to be gradually improving, we anticipate the next three to six months to be characterised by low take-up volumes and the potential for further increases in tenant supply,” Cushman said in its report. “Forecasts suggest that leasing volumes will remain below long-term average levels, although the second half of 2021 should see an uptick in activity.”