Serviced office take-up climbs in the West End as start-up numbers grow

Serviced offices are playing a growing role in the West End office market, with take-up during the first half of 2015 reaching 123,925 sq ft, according to Savills, just above the long-term annual average of 122,490 sq ft.

In 2014, serviced office take-up hit 337,195 sq ft, almost three times the annual average, and accounted for up to 8% of total take-up. In the first half of this year, serviced offices stood at 3% of total take-up.

Ben Raywood, analyst at Savills Commercial Research, says the increase in take-up in the West End is down to a rising occupational market and an increase in start-up companies.

“[Serviced offices] were always in the market for space, but now they are a real prevalent occupier that landlords and agents will be targeting because they are very active in taking large quantities of space,” he says.

Savills’ research shows that most space being taken by serviced offices in the West End is in W1. Raywood says this is due to serviced offices targeting new space from landlords.

But Raywood says the rise in serviced office take-up is not without risk if the market dips.

He adds: “In a rising market where you have a lot of people looking for space, they operate efficiently. When you’re in a downturn they will struggle more to let their space at a premium.”

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