Property developers are betting demand for London offices will hold up after Brexit, with speculative construction of new space predicted to surge in the first half.
Research by property agent JLL calculates work on up to five million square feet of new or refurbished offices in the City and West end could start between now and June 30.
That is up from 3.3 million square feet a year earlier. In the second half of 2019, the figure was just 600,000 square feet.
The research said there is strong business demand for new offices and a number of buildings currently under construction have already been pre-let.
Andrew Barnes, head of central London tenant representation at JLL, said: “In the face of robust take-up levels and increasing levels of active demand, together with increasing political certainty, the market is starting to respond to the dearth of new supply.”
HB Reavis is among developers likely to start on projects in the first half. The firm’s UK chief executive Steven Skinner said: “There remains an above average demand for the best office space and the demand seems evenly balanced between the tech, professional and financial sectors and not reliant on one part of the economy.”
There have been signs of renewed life in the property market after Boris Johnson’s election victory.