Activity in Q4 is expected to reach 6.8m sq ft, broadly in line with average take up over the past 10 years. A number of new schemes have come to the market over the past 12 months and this has been a great stimulus to activity, with almost 50% of the year to date figure being focused on grade A space, Glenny says.
John Bell, Head of Business Space Agency and Investment, explains:
“The depth of occupier demand has intensified, with a record number of requirements registered over the past six months, totalling 14.7m sq ft of space. Although ready to occupy grade A supply has increased, this still only amounts to 1.7m sq ft and the only ‘Big Box’ units available are second hand stock.
“The East London & Docklands office markets continue to dominate activity in the Eastern M25 region, with all other of the sub markets seeing activity running significantly below trend. The Docklands market has had its best year since 2016, with just under 1m sq ft of take up in the first nine months of this year. Stratford continues to attract new office occupiers with the latest news that HMRC have taken the remaining space at L&G’s 14 Westfield Avenue to accommodate a further 600 workers.”
Following a disappointing year in 2018 when activity was impacted by shortages of supply, take up returned to trend levels across the Glenny region – which comprises Essex, East London, North London, Hertfordshire, South East London and Kent – with transactions totalling 4.8m sq ft in the first three quarters of the year.
The pattern of activity across the sub regions is varied, with South East London & Kent registering a strong start to the year that pushed activity levels above trend, whilst both East London and Essex have shown a solid performance. North London & Herts, on the other hand has endured a difficult period, with activity below trend and a constrained supply of grade A space.
Office take up across Glenny’s region has remained at trend levels over the past few years, but this has primarily been due to the strength of the East London and Docklands market, which have dominated activity in the region. The first three quarters of 2019 has seen a continuation of this trend, with these two markets accounting for almost 60% of the region’s office take up. The Docklands market has been particularly strong in the year to date, with just under 1m sq ft of activity recorded, the largest letting being to the European Bank of Development and Reconstruction who signed for a pre let at 1-5 Bank Street, E14.