Numerous experts have been expressing pessimistic predictions on London property prices in light of the on-going Brexit negotiations. Although these predictions have been a sure warning to stay clear from London’s property market, contrary to such cautions, the uptake in London offices is the highest it has been in 5 years, increasing by 14% in the past year.
27% of these offices have been bought up by firms in the media, technology and telecommunications industries, giving a significant boost to London’s start-up economy and further solidifying the city’s reputation as the hub for start-up companies.
In addition to this, the opening of Amazon’s headquarters as well as high profile start-ups all within the very heart of London proves as further evidence to the general disregard of the post-Brexit predictions. With all these promising examples contributing to the significant uptake of London’s office spaces, it’s not surprising that over 14 million square feet of the city’s workspaces has already been snatched up by companies.
London’s commercial property market owes its success partly to the popularity of visually appealing yet convenient office spaces, e.g. those with lots of natural light, high ceilings and open, creative offices for rent that are still within walking distance from both a train station and coffee/food shops, see examples here.
Shared office workspaces are continuously growing in popularity, offered by such companies as WeWork, Spaces and LABS at affordable prices with flexible contracts. These types of companies offering such popular workspaces are increasing the surprising surge in office uptake during this period of uncertainty in London; giving their clients more freedom in contracts, and allowing companies to adjust their rented space depending on the success and subsequent down/up-sizing of their business. WeWork has become so popular recently that it now has offices in every single area of Central London, and has since branched out to introduce offices in Manchester.
Workspaces are not the only sector of London’s property market to see an unexpected boom, with mixed-use commercial properties also seeing a rise despite the approaching overcast of Brexit. Mixed-use (often referred to as live-work) properties are multi-purpose spaces property owners use and/or rent out for numerous different functions. For example, one mixed-use property could include both rented out living spaces in addition to a separate office space.
Not only has this drastic uptake in London offices fought against the pessimistic predictions of the UK’s Brexit future, leaders in such main sources of business for the country as the digital and tech industry have also gotten vocal about the business post-Brexit.
Chief executive of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT Digital) Willem Jonker spoke at the opening of the Edinburgh EIT office, remarking on Brexit that he thinks “digital and education have no borders. So we will not be stopped by borders. We are committed to make this a success”. Although the increase in London workspace uptake provides some reassurance for Britain’s future, the worrying uncertainty of Brexit still looms; Theresa May now wanting to postpone Brexit further to the 30th of June.