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Central London office viewings increase as lockdown eases

·1-min read
<p>Many office based staff in London have worked remotely since March 2020</p> (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Many office based staff in London have worked remotely since March 2020

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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.

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