Savills: West End pre-lets drive take-up as supply remains restricted

Pre-let activity has accounted for almost a third (32%) of all space taken this year with Soho accounting for the largest proportion (32%).

The Tech & Media sector continues to be main sector driving pre-lets in the West End, accounting for 37% (by sq ft) of space taken followed by the Insurance and Financial sector accounting for 20% of all take-up across five transactions.

Ed Betts, co-head of the West End office agency team at Savills, comments: “We expect to see more pre-lets from the Insurance & Financial sector over the next few years with the sector accounting for over a quarter of occupiers with upcoming lease events in the West End.”

Low supply in the West End is driving occupiers to think further ahead to secure high quality office space. 55% of all office developments and extensive refurbishments set to complete in London’s West End next year have already been pre-let, with almost a quarter (22%) of office space set to be delivered in the next four years already being taken.

In July, the first pre-let deal from the 2022 development pipeline was completed, with Diageo pre-letting Lazari’s 14-18 Great Marlborough Street, SW1, (105,000 sq ft), relocating its global headquarters from Park Royal business Park, NW1O.

The vacancy rate at the end of the month stood at 4%, down 10 basis points on June with 4.9m sq ft available across the West End.

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