London trends: where’s going up & where’s going down from First Office Hub

As Londoners start to return to work this month, Clive Buckley, Founding Partner of global workspace broker First Office Hub, shares emerging trends from across the Capital in the office property market:

London’s most popular location this month? We are seeing a marked increased demand for space in the EC3 Insurance District, followed by Mayfair, where we are seeing extremely competitive pricing, and Kings Cross locations still looking strong.

There has definitely been a pick-up in demand for offices close to main line railway stations, including Kings Cross, Liverpool Street, Waterloo, London Bridge and Victoria as companies try to reduce commute times/ decrease the double commute for staff who’d normally be commuting by train and then taking a tube or bus to get to the office.

Our clients are telling us that they’re seeing more and more staff coming back to their offices, particularly since the schools have gone back, and that they predict close to 75% of staff will be back working from an office, in some form, by 1st January.

Multiple companies are now downsizing to accommodate WFH, staff rotations, shifts and commuting restrictions. We’ve seen a 50% increase in enquiries over the past month from businesses looking to downsize to 1,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet size offices from larger premises in Q1 2021, so there is a real risk of there being a shortage of options in this space range on the horizon.

On the smaller end of the scale with offices for 5 to 40 employees, we are seeing a demand for shared offices, i.e. with one company using the space 3 days a week and a different company using it 2 days a week. We predict that this business-led/customer-led way of thinking will account for up to 10% of serviced office space within the next 6 months.