The Cheesegrater, the Shard, the Walkie-Talkie… love them, loathe them, or merely shrug your shoulders in their general direction, our shiny new skyscrapers and bulky buildings are set to change the London skyline as they creep up over the Square Mile in the next few years. But will we be able to fill all this new space?
The lean spell that every economist and his pet abacus is predicting means that offices are finding it hard to attract tenants. A report by Savills reveals that “demand in the City of London office market has reduced significantly” over the past few months as would-be buyers struggle to raise funds in a nervous financial climate. If the trend continues, all those glittering paeans to our flexed financial muscle, commissioned and approved during the last few boom years, could end up shimmering relics of a more moneyed era.
Before you all start rushing off to draw up plans on what we should do with these enormous, empty edifices (giant aquaria, perhaps?), the report does note that London is now perceived as being more fairly priced, and this could eventually contribute to an upswing in tenancy.
For now, though, things in the property market are looking tight: leaving the City aside, house prices have fallen 1.5% in the first quarter of this year, following a 2% drop at the end of 2007. It’s not all bad news though: those expensive pads in Hampstead are becoming ever-more affordable.
Photo courtesy of sonewfangled’s Flickrstream