The UK might be in the midst of a double-dip recession, however, Graham Ruddick, Property and Industry correspondent for The Telegraph, believes that the commercial property market in the West-end is ‘flourishing’.
The Diamond Jubilee and Olympics have set London on the world’s stage and this year it is certainly the ‘place to be’. The areas surrounding The Olympic Park have already earned over £1.6bn from private investments and now the West-end has become an attractive location for businesses wanting to soak up some of the hype associated with the forthcoming events. Brian Bickell, Chief Executive at Shaftsbury, a company that owns 12.5 acres of London’s West End including Carnaby Street, credits overseas investors and technology, media and telecoms (TMT) companies that are expanding their office space and relocating to the West End with the boom:
“London’s West End continues to be busy and prosperous. Throughout the first six months of the financial year our portfolio has been virtually fully let as demand for uses across our West End locations remains healthy,”
At the beginning of the year, reports of trading in the West-end were ‘historically high’ following Christmas and New Year sales. The West-end looks set to stay as an area of financial growth and affluence with commercial property developer, Great Portland (owner of £2bn of property in Central London) boasting record figures. The company let £29.2m of commercial space in the last 12 months and that the value of its properties has increased by 9.2pc.
Previous comments made by Shaftsbury were reflected in what Toby Courtauld, Great Portland Chief Executive, said: “While we can expect further turbulence in the UK and eurozone economies, conditions in London’s property markets, particularly the West End, remain favourable.
“Tenant demand for new space is trending at the long-run average, with some pockets of strong interest from the likes of the TMT sector, while the supply of new space is low.”