British Land Forecasts Shortage in Office Space

The second largest real estate investment trust in the whole of the United Kingdom says that net asset value rose to 591p per share, versus 583p just three months earlier, noting that its shares have been boosted by its office space valuation. Around a third of the firm’s portfolio is held in office space in London, in both the City and the West End, with the remainder being in retail in locations such as Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield.

Its office space valuation was up 5.3 per cent over the course of six months in comparison to the same period in 2010. British Land says that there is strong demand for office space, even with the signs of weakness that have been detected in “secondary stock” that is situated in poor locations. A number of firms have leases in London, with commercial property coming up for renewal between the years 2013 and 2015, and the prediction is that there will be a falling amount of office space available.

“There’s a shortage of Grade A supply and a lot of leases coming up for renewal,” says British Land chief executive Chris Grigg. “It’s hard to predict specific sectors (which may be caught out). What we like about the West End and the reason we’ve got more speculative space there is the breadth of employment, but the City has been remarkably resilient across the past decades.”

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