A regular survey of cranes on the London skyline has suggested that new office developments are continuing to decline, despite – or more accurately, the cause of – the rebound of the commercial property market in the capital.
The crane count is a crude but indicative measure of construction activity in the sector. In Q1 of this year, just 33 cranes were visible, a fall of a third since the previous count six months ago. The number represents the development of a little under 6 million square feet of new office space. London has unsurprisingly seen rents rise as free space becomes more and more squeezed.
At the height of the boom in 2008, there were over 100 construction sites. Despite a few notable exceptions – generally firms reviving plans that were shelved in the downturn – there are few new developments in the pipelines, meaning that existing space is at a premium.
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