26 October 2016
APPLE: A GAME CHANGER BUT NOT THE ONLY STORY OF THE QUARTER

Apple’s decision to base its new 468,000 sq ft European HQ at Battersea Power Station has added further momentum to London’s South Bank office market which was already moving forward strongly prior to the tech giant’s announcement.

Our 3rd Quarter South Bank office market research showed that even when removing the Apple deal from our statistics, Take-up in office space across the South Bank, even through the summer months and after the EU Referendum vote, was still up 10% on the previous quarter.

Leasing & Development Partner, Simon Smith comments: “Our 3rd Quarter analysis shows continued demand from a wide range of occupiers, and this point was underlined at the end of the quarter by sustainability consultancy, DNV-GL, signing up for 34,500 sq ft at the South Bank Central development. Year-to-date office Take-up reached 1.12m sq ft by the end of the quarter which is already above the total volume leased in 2015”.

Throughout the South Bank office market, Take-up continues to be dominated by occupiers from the Design; Advertising, Marketing & PR; Media, Internet; and Technology & Telecoms (DAMIT) sectors. Since 2013, of the Top 10 office acquisitions by DAMIT-orientated occupiers in London, the South Bank has attracted 37% of these by floor area, yet it accounts for less than 10% of total Central London office stock.

Smith comments: “The nature of the South Bank is evolving rapidly and while creative businesses are shaping much of that change, we’re also seeing demand from all types of office occupiers. In terms of how far the wider market has come in recent years, the Apple HQ commitment is really the icing on the cake and can only attract more businesses of a similar type.

“What is particularly exciting is that Apple's commitment to the power station scheme really ‘book-ends’ the South Bank market, with high quality development delivered and underway from Battersea through to Bermondsey. We are predicting a major focus on Vauxhall now, as the next tranche of mixed-use supply is delivered from Nine Elms Lane, along Albert Embankment to Waterloo."

In line with the other key markets in Central London, the South Bank’s 3rd Quarter investment market was quiet as investors considered the long-term consequences of the EU Referendum vote.

Investment Partner, Alastair Hilton, comments: “The 3rd Quarter saw £118m of activity across five transactions which was below the eight-year quarterly average (£593m) and 21% down on the previous quarter.

“More recently we have seen opportunities coming into the market, and with investor appetite generally still strong, we can expect to see more activity in the run up to the year-end.”

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