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MENAFN Press - 22/01/2014
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(MENAFN Press) The London office development market remains at a four-year high with 9.7 million sq. ft. across 71 schemes now under construction, according to the winter edition of Deloitte London Office Crane Survey.

The survey, by Deloitte Real Estate, describes improving sentiment in London's commercial office development market with 28 new starts recorded across the capital. 6.6 million sq. ft. is expected to be delivered next year. Importantly over two million sq ft is already leased to tenants prior to construction completion, showing encouraging occupier confidence

Key office transactions involving Middle Eastern investors over 2013 included

St Martins Property Group, the real estate investment vehicle of the Kuwaiti Government, acquired 5 Canada Square, E14 for 383 million in January 2013 and More London, SE1 for 1.7 billion in December 2013

In September 2013, Ashby Capital, understood to be acting on behalf of a Saudi investor acquired 200 Aldersgate, EC1 for 225 million

In July 2013, The Shard opened in London, becoming Western Europe's tallest building, in which the State of Qatar is the majority shareholder (95%)

The acquisition of IBM's London HQ in SE1 from Lord Sugars' Amsprop in September 2013 by a Middle Eastern Investor for 120 million

Robin Williamson, Real Estate industry leader at Deloitte Middle East, commented on the London Office Crane Survey: "2014 is currently set to deliver the largest amount of space into the Central London office market for 10 years. This is good news for the increasing number of companies looking for office space in a market where supply is reducing and shortages are appearing. However, we do not expect a significant oversupply of office space next year as there are strong indications that tenants will commit to this space during construction and so the amount being delivered into the market and available to lease will continue to reduce. Indeed, less than half the space completed over the last six months was available to let, with the rest let by tenants pre-completion

"Interestingly, there are certain parallels between the London office development market and the various Middle Eastern office development markets, most notably that the 'super prime space' remains in demand with recovering rental rates.

"In contrast, the pre-letting of office accommodation in the Middle East region remains the exception and there is little sign this will change in the foreseeable future," concluded Williamson

To view the survey results, go to: http://bit.ly/1dcRDnI

About The Deloitte Real Estate Crane Survey
The Deloitte Real Estate Crane Survey is the definitive survey of commercial construction in all the major UK cities as well as Paris and is seen as a good measure of developers' sentiment and future office supply. Central London development data commenced in 1982 and the first London Crane Survey was published in 1996. The last London Crane Survey was published in May 2013. Deloitte Real Estate's commercial property research team is focused on producing regular publications and comprehensive bespoke reports for investors, developers and occupiers. Their output includes data analysis and commercial property research reports covering the major European markets through to the presentation and discussion of pertinent issues.About Deloitte:Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has in the region of 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.Deloitte's professionals are unified by a collaborative culture that fosters integrity, outstanding value to markets and clients, commitment to each other, and strength from cultural diversity. They enjoy an environment of continuous learning, challenging experiences, and enriching career opportunities. Deloitte's professionals are dedicated to strengthening corporate responsibility, building public trust, and making a positive impact in their communities.About Deloitte & Touche (M.E.):Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) is a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and is the first Arab professional services firm established in the Middle East region with uninterrupted presence since 1926.Deloitte is among the region's leading professional services firms, providing audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through 26 offices in 15 countries with around 3,000 partners, directors and staff. It is a Tier 1 Tax advisor in the GCC region since 2010 (according to the International Tax Review World Tax Rankings). It has received numerous awards in the last few years which include Best Employer in the Middle East, best consulting firm, and the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).



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