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Demand for office space in central London has risen sharply in recent months as banking groupslook to extend their presence in the UK capital, according to the latest data.
A limited number of new buildings have been developed over the past few years but banking groups and other financial services firms were keen to expand in ‘the City’ and in the ‘West End’ during 2010 and the trend looks set to continue.
Knight Frank’s latest figures suggest 6.4 million sq ft of London office space was taken up by financial sector companies over the course of last year, which represents a marked increase from both 2008 and 2009.
Indeed, it now appears as if demand for office space in London is greater than it was even before the credit crunch and the ensuing financial and economic problems that have afflicted the UK and European economy.
The commercial property firm behind the latest research is convinced that offices in central London and the West End will remain highly sought after for a number of years as there are numerous large-scale tenancy agreements due for renewal, particularly in 2014 and 2015.
William Beardmore-Gray, head of City leasing at Knight Frank, told the Financial Times that the banking sector in London is recovering well but remains concerned about the possibility of stringent government regulation of their activities.
The scale of office space coming onto the London market is limited at present but there are several high-profile development efforts currently under way, including the so-called Walkie Talkie tower in EC3, on which Land Securities and the Canary Wharf Group began construction work last week.