Just over 301,000 sq ft was leased by occupiers in the first eight weeks of Q2 according to DeVono Cresa, marking a drop of 88% on the level recorded for the same period in 2019, as businesses put their planned office moves on hold in the wake of disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The closure of offices and the fast-paced adjustment to remote working meant that a significant number of active requirements were paused,” said Shaun Dawson, DeVono Cresa’s head of insights.

One such requirement was the Daily Mail’s hunt for 120,000 sq ft to 150,000 sq ft of space. Property Week understands its search has been paused while it re-evaluates how much space it needs. One source estimated the requirement could be slashed by up to 50%.

But despite the widescale inertia, a number of big-ticket deals remain active in the capital.

Law firms still make up a large chunk of the demand in the capital’s office market. Two such requirements – White & Case and Hogan Lovells – are understood to be still looking for spaces of up to 200,000 sq ft and 300,000 sq ft respectively before their leases expire in the mid-2020s.

Netflix has also been searching for office space, around 100,000 sq ft, and IT services group TransferWise is understood to be looking for more than 70,000sq ft of space.

One City agent told Property Week: “I would imagine take-up next quarter would be not dissimilar to this quarter. There’ll be a degree of delay and reticence, it won’t immediately bounce back, but we are hoping Q1 next year things might start to come back as there are lots of potential occupiers still looking around.”