Confidence high in London’s commercial property market

Units to let London

The UK is the most attractive place for employers and employees according to a report by Colliers International with London topping the table.

Despite recent figures indicating that work productivity is down in Britain, the UK remains a highly attractive country for employers and employees based on a combination of talent, location, quality of life and cost, according to the latest edition of Colliers International’s European Cities of Influence report.

The analysis of 50 major European economic cities for employers saw London retain its top position, with all other UK cities in the analysis featuring in the top 20 (Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow).

Simon Ford, Director, EMEA Corporate Solutions, commented: “In the face of negative reports surrounding the UK’s political, social, economic and country risk issues, our research demonstrates that the country as a whole remains in a particularly strong position.

The study, which examines major cities and their contiguous catchment areas to account for the broader ‘economic eco-system’ of each location, reveals that the size and orientation of the workforce and the capacity and skill-set of the latent and emerging talent pool are key factors which continue to push London significantly ahead of other locations in Europe. In fact London has increased its lead over Paris in second place, as a result of accounting for a broader catchment area encompassing locations on the other side of the M25. While London may not score as highly as other European cities on some quality of life factors, it is apparent that companies in the capital have started to place more emphasis on creating workplaces that help accelerate their business and attract talent.”

The research also reveals that the nature of workplace strategy is evolving so rapidly that keeping up — let alone staying ahead of the curve — can be a challenge. Employers are now focused on creating a workplace that can attract and retain talent by incorporating co-working and collaborative facilities, flexible working options and ingraining a healthy mindset. With the onus on keeping employees happy and productive, the design and utilization of the workplace is helping to accelerate business productivity more than ever before.

James Walker, Head of City Agency & Occupier Advisory at Colliers International reinforces these findings, commenting:

London retaining its title as the most attractive place for businesses and staff comes as little surprise. We are seeing evidence that, despite Brexit uncertainties, the City still holds huge appeal for a diverse range of businesses, with the likes of Dell, Informa, Sidley Austin and St James’s Place all said to be actively looking for a combined 200,000 sq ft of space, which is helping to further reinforce confidence in the market.”

Further research from Colliers London Offices Snapshot, October 2017 found:

  • The City office market saw transaction levels bounce back sharply by more than 38 per cent (847,000 sq ft) in Q3 2017 to achieve a 30-month high.
  • Furthermore, demand from the financial services sector for office space in the City has more than doubled quarter-on-quarter to (+75 per cent), suggesting that the initial fallout from the EU referendum is beginning to abate. 
  • City investment volumes have also rebounded to stand at £2.3 billion in Q3 2017, bolstered by considerable overseas investment.

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