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London Office Leasing Activity Dips Amid Brexit Uncertainty


Uncertainty in the run-up to the EU referendum saw office leases drop 22% quarter-on-quarter to 2.4M SF in Q2 2016, while available space increased for the fifth consecutive quarter to 13.3M SF, according to CBRE.

The second quarter of 2016 has been particularly rough as leasing fell to its lowest level since Q3 2012, 23% below the 10-year average of 3.2M SF, likely the result of the referendum weighing on the minds of businesses operating in the capital.

While leasing activity waned in response to the political outlook, office space increased by 8% to stand at 13.3M SF. The surge of availability across the board of subleases, completed and pipeline space meant supply exceeded total annual take-up for the first time since Q4 2013.

CBRE’s head of London leasing, Emma Crawford, said it isn’t surprising to see some occupiers delaying decisions until the political storm had passed. She says activity will remain subdued for the near term but the fundamentals remain strong and will ultimately outweigh any short-term negatives.