London Sees Record Office Rents as Demand for Commercial Property Booms

Tenants took up 2.4 million square feet in office space during the first three months of 2015, according to commercial estate agent Cushman & Wakefield.
The biggest growth in demand was seen in the City, as professional-services firm Deloitte struck the biggest deal, agreeing a major, 270,000 square feet, pre-let at 1 New Street Square. That deal pushed City lettings 34% ahead of the same time last year.
Cushman — itself put up for sale with a $2 billion (£1.35 billion) price tag by the billionaire Agnelli family — saw quieter letting activity in the West End as an acute shortage of space pushes vacancy rates down to just 2.3% — a level not seen since 2000.
That shortage has seen the private family office of the Nahmads — billionaire art dealers originating from Syria — bust the UK record for the highest London office rent ever paid — a reported £185 a square foot for the top floor of Green Property’s 8 St James’s Square development. Andy Tyler, C&W’s head of West End office agency, said: “It is clear that rising rents and scarcity of product are leading to a redistribution of occupiers across central London, particularly West End occupiers.”   London Evening Standard,1st April 2015