South East Offices Snapshot Q4 2019

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south east offices q42019

South East leasing activity in Q4 2019 was strong, with 592,764 sq ft transacted. Quarterly take-up was 7% up on Q3 2019 levels. Political and economic uncertainty affected take-up levels in 2019 while total leasing activity reached c. 2.6 million sq ft, which was 29% lower than 2018 year-end take-up activity.

Take-up in Q4, was dominated by the L’Oreal pre-let at The Gateway, White City for 120,000 sq ft. L’Oreal’s commitment to White City is not only a strategic decision for the company but further reinforces White City as an established, innovative and thriving office market.

Office take-up across the South East in 2019 was focussed on Grade A, with roughly 1.8 million sq ft of Grade A offices transacted, which accounted for, on average, 71% of take-up between 2017 and 2019.

Supply levels in the South East continue to be eroded as vacancy levels are now at just 7.8% down from 11.2% in 2015. We expect to see sentiment in the South East office market grow in confidence during 2020 as Grade A vacancy continues to fall.

The key investment trends of Q4 2019 were:

  • Office business park transactions accounted for approximately 44% of total investment volumes and attracted the most diverse group of buyers.
  • Overseas investors were particularly active accounting for a 35% market share of transaction volumes, with a preference for larger lot sizes.
  • Private equity buyers, who were absent in Q3, had the second highest transaction volumes of the quarter, accounting for £247 million (20%).
  • Property companies had the largest market share by transaction number accounting for nine transactions out of 44 in the quarter (20%).
  • Continued demand remains for defensive assets in town centres or those offering long income secured against strong covenants.

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South East Offices Snapshot Q4 2019

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Related Experts

Mark Taylor

London - West End

London - West End

Mark Taylor has more than 20 years of experience in the Corporate and Landlord Office Leasing field. His role in the last 7 years has seen a focus on working with US Corporates seeking to locate or reduce their European facilities. As part of this role Mark has organised and made corporate and market presentations to End Users, Investors and Developers throughout the US and Europe.

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Mark Emburey

Head of South East Offices

London - West End

Originally joining Colliers from JLL in March 2006 as Head of South East Office Agency, Mark's core area of expertise is providing Occupiers, Landlords, Developers/ Investors with strategic advice on office acquisition, disposal and development projects. 

Mark has also previoulsy advised on transaction management in the UK for some key corporate accounts such as NetApp, Fujitsu, Adobe, Cisco, Siebel Systems and Computer Associates.  

Based in Colliers’s London office, Mark provides valued real estate advice that achieves measurable results to clients, representing a variety of local, national, and international organisations.

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