London Office Crane Survey – Navigating through uncertainty

Merchant Land was pleased to attend the City Property Association’s briefing on the London Office Crane Survey – Navigating through uncertainty.

The London Office Crane Survey is a barometer of business and developer sentiment as well as future workplace supply. It measures the volume of office development across London, covering both new builds as well as significant refurbishments. This is a significant report now in its 23rd year, providing a wealth of data into the state of the market.

Speakers included:

David Ainsworth, CPA President and Chief Executive of CORE

Justin Black, Head of UK Development at CC Land and CPA Board member

Karen Cook, Founding Partner of PLP Architecture and CPA Board member

Michael Cracknell, Director at Deloitte

Mary Finnigan, Director of Transactions at WeWork

Speakers agreed that signs from both investors and occupiers are broadly positive in the office space market. While overall availability has come down, total space under construction between October 2018 and March 2019 amounted to 13.2m sq ft. However, this is set against a 23% decline in the overall pipeline for construction and proposed schemes over the last two years.

A key theme coming out of the discussion was how occupiers are increasingly driving office space requirements. While there has been a reduction in the amount of floorspace for workers, there is a much clearer focus on amenity, resulting in a growing need to meet the needs of a wide range of employees. Simply put, staff want high quality workplaces.

One question that came out of the discussion was, how do we provide small companies with the equivalent amenities of much larger businesses? For the City of London, this is a significant point given that 98% of businesses in the City are SMEs. Workers increasingly want choice around the sorts of environments they work in. And there is evidence demonstrating the positive impact of more sunlight, better air quality, and more green space.

Click here to download the report from Deloitte’s website.