Every quarter for many years we have provided an estimate of rent in the central London office market.

In today’s extraordinary environment we decided to err away from our usual reference date of 25th March, at which time the market for new office transactions had largely ceased to operate. The datum point we have opted for instead is 1st March 2020, when the office market was certainly twitchy – but few businesses realised we were inching over an invisible cliff edge!

From early March, we stopped being able to inspect offices and shortly afterwards most companies stopped being able to even occupy them. And (sorry, should not start a sentence with “and”) things like this started to happen:

  • Banks and large City law firms experimented relocating staff to disaster recovery accommodation in far flung places like Farnham!
  • Companies started buying up all the computers in Currys to enable their staff to WFH (work from home).
  • Office workers made emergency appointments to get their hair coloured, go to the dentist, get that awful “age spot” removed, in order to meet adversity looking good.
  • The “left behinders” found out how to order on Ocado / Tesco/ Sainsbury’s – only to be left competing for time slots with aficionados
  • Office workers found themselves at home in social isolation, having successfully accommodated excess toilet rolls and become proficient on Zoom and Google teams.
  • Numerous people (made at least partially redundant by the pandemic) have volunteered in their communities and also embarked on adult education initiatives. You may have noticed, I’m trying to polish up my grammar.

Enough of this waffle. I have not yet processed how this global pandemic will leave market rent in the 19 central London office markets we operate in. And (sorry) rather than pontificate now, I’d prefer to comment more intelligently in future blogs.

So, I take pleasure in publishing our London office rent estimates as of 1st March 2020 when our market still seemed to be in full operation. I really look forward to comparing them to future rent when the market normalises and will continue to comment in the meantime.

I have not yet processed how this global pandemic will leave office rent in the central London office markets we operate in. New office transactions have largely ceased.

How we can help your business through the crisis

Lastly, although out team are of course now all operating from home, we are still operational. Our serviced office team is able to offer business support options in virtual offices as well as virtual viewings, if you are actually looking for physical space once the lockdown is lifted.

Our leased office team is also offering advice on how best to handle your empty office now you’re no longer able to use it. Full details are available on our Covid-19 Response page.

London office market grinds to a halt as the capital locks down

About Ian Kitchener

Ian Kitchener

Ian has advised Central London office occupiers for over 20 years. He loves fighting their corner and making sure they get what they need - a great office on the best commercial terms available.

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