Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Corporate Tenant Demand In UK At Decade Low

Source : The Business Times, July 22, 2008

(LONDON) Tenant demand for commercial property space in the UK fell in the April-June period at the fastest quarterly rate in at least 10 years as an economic slowdown gathered pace, a key report showed yesterday.

According to a national survey of property professionals by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), lettings to new occupiers and occupier enquiries for new space both fell in the second quarter at their fastest clip in the report's 10-year history.

The balance between surveyors reporting a rise and those reporting a fall sank to minus 50 per cent or more in both cases from minus 31-36 per cent in the first quarter, having turned negative late last year as the US sub-prime crisis begot a global credit crunch.

Surveyors said demand and enquiries for shop floorspace were especially weak in the second quarter and dovetailed with a particularly sharp rise in the amount of available shop floorspace.

Commercial lease lengths also fell at the fastest pace since at least 1998, with the largest declines again taking place in the retail sector, the survey showed.

In contrast - and despite mounting job cuts in central London's pivotal financial services industry - office availability was still only half that reported after the dot-com bubble burst at the start of the decade, RICS said.

However, confidence in the outlook for office rents was the lowest since the final quarter of 2002. -- Reuters

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