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Real estate developer Derwent has said that continuing demand for office space in the West End of London has helped its results of late.
Despite an overall drop in demand for office space, the West End has remained inured against the tough economic times, Derwent said, however added that whether this would continue in the second half of 2011 was unclear.
Derwent London Chief Executive John Burns told Reuters: “We would have noticed deals going through slower and companies not signing leases but that is not happening at the moment.”
In the first six months of this year Derwent’s net asset value rose by ten percent, the company recently reported.
So far London has been ‘insulated’ from the economic turmoil around the world, Burns added. However this could easily change, he said.
Derwent was the only FTSE-350 company to refrain from raising equity this year. Its net debt has risen recently though from GBP 749.2 million last year to a current level of GBP 904.5 million.
Burns said of Derwent’s holdings: “There was robust rental growth across the portfolio which reflected the continued strength of the central London office market and the buoyant demand for our particular brand of contemporary, mid-market space.
“Looking at our current letting enquiries and activity, this rental value progression appears sustainable over the near term. In addition, with our low average office rents at GBP 25.82 per square foot in central London and GBP 27.16 per square foot in the West End properties, these levels offer good prospects for growth in the supply-constrained occupier market.”
While the property market in London may be healthy, across the rest of Britain both commercial and residential markets are struggling.
UK house prices fell in August for the fourth month in a row, and according to property researcher Hometrack Ltd demand for housing may become even weaker as the year continues.