Kevin McCauley, Executive Director, Head of London Research at CBRE delivered a presentation on the London office market.
Members posed several questions to Mr McCauley:
What was the outlook for rent free periods?
Rent Free periods were increasing, it was not uncommon to see 10-year leases including a 21-24 month rent free period.
What are the medium-term challenges?
· Keeping up with demand in light of a decrease in available debt finance, availability of viable locations in Central London and more stringent environment for approvals of planning consent
· Infrastructure being developed by competitors (particularly around transport and housing), the key competitors were Dublin, Amsterdam and Frankfurt
· Brexit – specifically, the impact of services being outside the future EU-UK trade agreement, currently CBRE were seeing a slow drip feed of international corporations with relocating some staff or choosing not to expand in London as Brexit headwinds were increasing up to March 2019. Interestingly, Fintech was continuing to grow in London. Canary Wharf was at the sharp end of any retrenchment by traditional Financial Services firms in the UK
Will the City’s employer demographic change?
Too early to say in terms of big trends, all companies are looking at more flexibility of office space
Members and officers thanked Mr McCauley for his excellent presentation.