There has been a “notable” increase in office viewings in central London, as firms consider future property plans following more than a year of working from home in some cases.
Last month saw 590,614 square feet of lettings agreed in central London. That was above the 289,074 square feet a year earlier when lockdown was in place and strict travel restrictions made deals trickier.
However, the figure is still below pre-pandemic levels, with 664,466 square feet done in April 2019, according to property agent CBRE.
Landlords have seen some tenants look to reduce space, and a number of bosses are expected to embrace more hybrid working post-Covid. Many companies have been impressed at how successful remote working has been.
However, property developers are reporting good demand for modern and environmentally-friendly buildings.
CBRE’s head of London office brokerage team, Rob Madden said: “As lockdown eases we are beginning to see a steady bounce back in office take-up, with occupiers typically willing to pay for the best available product in the market in order to win the war for talent.”
He added that there is a notable increase in the number of viewings month on month.
First quarter take-up in central London reached 1.3 million square feet and similar is expected for the second quarter.
CBRE is forecasting around 7 million square feet for the year. By way of comparison, the 10 year annual average is 13 million square feet.