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70 per cent of West End space under construction has already been pre-let – Colliers International

04 03 20 london offices 2

Lack of stock means London occupiers having to look up to four years in advance for new space.

A total of 70 per cent of West End office space currently under construction is already pre-let according to new research from Colliers International. Across London there continues to be supply constraints as development space is snapped up before completion and occupiers must plan several years ahead of their lease events to secure new space. 
Colliers notes that in 2020, across the whole of London, 8 million sq ft of office space is set to complete, however 5.7 million sq ft is already pre-let or under offer. Not only this, but a further 815,000 sq ft is pre-let or under offer for 2021. 
Guy Grantham
, research director at Colliers International, commented: “It is no secret that the West End is suffering from a chronic lack of space, and the fact that space is being removed from the market over a year in advance is evidence of this. The trend continues from 2019 when across London occupiers absorbed 92 per cent of completed space in schemes of over 50,000 sq ft prior to completion.”  
During this development cycle (2015-2019), on schemes of over 50,000 sq ft, Colliers’ research shows that in 2016, 83 per cent of development space across London was vacant upon completion but by 2019 this had dropped to just eight per cent. Looking ahead, 50 per cent of space scheduled for 2020 – 2021 is no longer available. 
Tom Wildash, co-head of West End leasing at Colliers International, added: “As the reduction in London space continues, occupiers of scale are having to look up to four years ahead of lease events. The issue developers are facing is finding the viable locations to create new office space and there will now have to be a real focus on increasing the pipeline alongside high quality refurbishments.”

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Guy Grantham

Director of Research and Forecasting

Research and Forecasting

London - West End

Guy has been a property research professional for 23 years and gained extensive knowledge of the UK and Global property markets. He has worked closely with a wide variety of major developers, landlords and occupiers in a consultancy capacity. Instrumental in supporting Hines' purchase of Brindleyplace for £200m, on which Colliers advised. He is now specialising in the London Office market using his extensive knowledge and experience to provide market leading insight into current occupier, investment and development trends.

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Rebecca Allen

PR Manager

Marketing & Communications

London - West End

I have been working in commercial property communications for over 10 years  having previously worked at CBRE and Savills.

In my role at Colliers I am responsible for the PR of National Capital Markets, London Offices and Investment Property  Management teams as well as Scotland.

My role includes:

  • Creating and exectuing PR plans for business lines that span press, marketing and digital channels
  • Media monitoring and reporting
  • Advising on brand, tone of voice and profile raising 
  • Journalist relationship building through face to face meetings, phone calls day to day assistance with stories
  • Reputation management of the Colliers brand



View expert