There is no doubt that London has seen a real improvement in rental incomes for office space in 2010. However, this improvement is not consistent across all sectors and across all regions.
According to Dan Bayley, the head of Central London offices at BNP Paribas, all of the Central London markets have outperformed both the five year average and the equivalent quarter last year. In a convincing 40% increase in performance on the second quarter and of 37% percent from the usual quarterly take-up average, Q3 has seen a take-up of over 2 million square feet of executive office space. London, however, cannot be seen as one homogenous market. There is, for instance, sustained interest in quality developments in the West End whilst rents buck the overall trend to head downwards in Docklands, the one exception to the general upward movement in the Central London market.
Industry analysts will be waiting to see whether the fourth quarter of 2010 adds any clarity to the somewhat unpredictable picture, but most expect the demand for prime properties to increase.