Take-up of office space across central London totalled 2.3m sq ft in the first quarter of 2018, according to JLL – a 14% rise year-on-year.
Offices take-up in London was up from 1.98m sq ft in the corresponding quarter of 2017 and up 5% on the average Q1 total over the last 10 years.
Transactions across the City of London reached 1.3 m sq ft, while the West End saw 860,000 sq ft of deals and East London 215,000 sq ft.
JLL said that there was activity across a wide range of sectors during the quarter. The service industry, which includes serviced office providers, continued to lead, accounting for 26% (600,000 sq ft) of space.
TMT, professional services and banking and finance all recorded similar levels of take-up, representing 22% (512,000 sq ft), 21% (480,000 sq ft) and 20% (469,000 sq ft) of total take-up respectively.
More than 28% of the transactions completed in Q1 2018 were undertaken on a pre-let basis, and JLL said this was a trend would continue throughout the year as 44% of the space currently under offer in central London was either under construction or off-plan.
The report said that occupier demand remains robust across central London and currently totals 14.1m sq ft. The banking and finance sector has the largest share of active demand (27%) followed by professional services (22%), the service industry (20%) and TMT (19%).
Neil Prime, head of central London offices at JLL, said: “Given the significant levels of take-up that we saw in the final quarter of 2017 these figures are impressive and suggest that the market retains its attractiveness to occupiers despite the ongoing political disruptions. In addition to a strong first quarter, our research has identified that there is currently 3.5m sq ft of space under offer across central London, representing the largest amount of space under offer for a decade.”