Could this be what we’ve been waiting for?
Let’s face it, there’s not been much news to cheer us in the world the past couple of years. Certainly the commercial property market hasn’t been the place we’ve looked if we’ve needed an injection of positive thinking for a very long time!
Well at last there seems to be a glimmer of hope at the end of that very long tunnel. Over the past 30 years operating in the commercial property market here in London I know that I have to plead guilty to having been too much of an optimist in a declining market, and a “Doubting Thomas” in a recovering market. So if you hear me talking positively about a recovery then you should either be shocked or at least sit up and take notice.
The interesting thing about the serviced office market, in particular, is that over the past two economic slumps we have seen the early signs of economic recovery before anyone else.
Why is this? Well it’s pretty simple really – in the UK the conventional office market has been dominated by institutional landlords who have insisted on very long leases (they used to require 25yrs but this has now reduced to 10-15yrs). As a result, any business decision to open a new office, or to relocate, couldn’t be taken lightly because you were making a significant financial commitment for the next 10-15 years – and no door with a crash bar and illuminated sign saying “this way out”.
Because serviced offices involve no capital outlay, and only a short term commitment, they were a very attractive option in uncertain times and so we saw demand increase well ahead of any clear economic indicators that the recession was over.
Over the past six weeks we’ve been running a straw poll survey on our website. We’ve asked just one question of all our visitors: “Is there light at the end of the tunnel?”
Here are the results so far:
Ok, I know it’s not very scientific and I don’t exactly hear any champagne corks popping just yet, but whilst I’m still inclined to be a sceptic, there is absolutely no denying that levels of demand for serviced offices, especially serviced offices in London, have increased substantially over the past month or two. The quality of enquiries is higher, the size of those requirements are larger and the budgets that occupiers have in mind are more realistic.
It’s definitely too early to be able to draw any clear picture of the different motivators that are driving the increased demand, but the facts are there for us to see and, personally, I think it’s all about increased levels of business confidence – if I’m right then what we are seeing are the familiar signs of a sleepy but waking economy.
Here at Abacus Office Finder we have all the serviced offices London has to offer on our books. From big to small, cheap to expensive, high profile to back office and new to old. Among other locations, we haveMayfair serviced offices at surprisingly competitive prices and an unusually large selection of serviced offices in the City of London at the moment – a good time to be negotiating on price maybe!