The construction bounce back continues with a London office boom


Here at Advantage, we know first-hand how useful it can be to have a presence in the capital, having opened a London office alongside our existing offices in the North West and the Midlands. Having offices at several key locations helps us to work closely with our structural warranty clients nationwide at every stage of their construction projects.

London office completions at highest level for 18 years

This week, Architects Journal reported that the number of office completions in London has reached its highest level for 18 years, while construction starts have leapt by a fifth, a survey by Deloitte has found

The survey found that construction starts rose by 20 per cent in the six months to March 2021 compared with the previous six months, despite the pandemic, with 290,000m2 feet of space currently under construction across 32 separate schemes. Completions reached 420,000m2 between October 2020 and March 2021 – the highest volume recorded by Deloitte for 18 years.

Earlier this month, Advantage wrote that housebuilding activity had exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time. And the latest figures for London office completions show that it’s not just housebuilding that’s experiencing a bounce back.

More than half of developers plan to increase construction pipelines in the next six months

Deloitte real estate director Mike Cracknell said:

“Many existing office buildings are capable of being turned into Covid-safe and high-quality workspaces, so it is unsurprising that developers are following the more sustainable path of refurbishments.’

“Grade A, well-connected and eco-friendly office spaces, designed to maximise the benefits of new ways of working, will be the most desirable,’ he added, stating that more than half of developers were planning to increase construction pipelines in the next six months.”

The biggest new occupiers included technology, media and telecoms firms which now account for 40 per cent of pre-let space under construction. Financial services accounted for 16 per cent of new pre-let space.

Deloitte UK head of financial services Richard Hammell said:

“With the acceleration of shifting working patterns, the financial services sector is consolidating its office presence in central London, whilst in parallel considering how businesses and functions can be deployed outside the capital, supporting regional growth.”

Advantage’s view: With construction activity rising, as Construction News reports, soaring demand has strained the availability of a number of key materials, with some experiencing double-digit inflation. As we’ve noted before, to succeed in the current climate, developers won’t just be watching their order books, they’ll also be keeping a particularly keen eye on the supply chain to ensure that projects don’t run over budget or face delays due to materials shortages. Avoiding cost overrun as prices rise looks set to become an ongoing challenge. However, rising demand may help offset the impact of some of the price rises we’ve seen so far this year.

Do you require a structural warranty for your project? The Advantage team is proud to work with clients on developments throughout the UK, adhering to all social distancing guidelines to ensure that projects are covered by the appropriate structural warranty. To find out more, call: 0845 900 3969 or email: sales@ahci.co.uk

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Advantage Home Construction Insurance (AHCI) provides structural defects insurance – operating nationally with offices in Warrington, London and Birmingham – offering development-related insurances and a service designed to give customers peace of mind.

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