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Financial News: London Office Construction Slows, Volume Lowest Since 2014

London Office Construction Slows, Volume Lowest Since 2014: Survey

11/28/2017 - 06:53:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - London witnessed a slowdown in new office construction during the last six months amid an uncertain political climate, a survey by the accounting services firm Deloitte showed Tuesday.

Office construction activity in central London declined 9 percent to 12.6 million sq ft over the past six months, marking a second consecutive fall, the London Office Crane Survey showed.

The survey also showed that 1.8 million sq ft of new space started for the past six months, which was the lowest level since 2014 and 21 percent below the survey average.

"While not necessarily a leading indicator of further activity slowdown, the current volume of new starts certainly indicates caution on behalf of developers earlier this year," Deloitte said.

"Moreover, the continued fall in activity may be good news for those looking to spot the next window of opportunity in the cycle."

Meanwhile, demolition levels were around 8 million sq ft, suggesting a desire to keep developing.

Further, completions were above average and 2017 is on course to deliver a 13-year high of space, the survey said.

"This is welcome news to a buoyant rental market in which 44% of space under construction is already let," Deloitte said.

Looking ahead, demand for new space is expected to remain resilient and the rise of vacancy rates across central London is set to continue, the survey showed.

That said, the continued rise of co-working space is set to impact the market, the firm said.

And Brexit is set to move real estate up the agenda for businesses, Deloitte added.

The survey was carried out between April 1 and September 30 and acts as a barometer not only for the commercial property market but for the economy as a whole.

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