The strength of the labour market has continued to translate into good occupier activity, in particular for Central London. In H1 2019 Central London take-up reached 5.9m sq ft, in line with the long-term H1 average. Occupiers are moving forward regardless of the economic uncertainty. July take-up has been extremely good reaching 1.4m sq ft, this is up 78% on July 2018. Three deals over 100,000 sq ft were transacted in July, the largest of which saw BT Group acquire 328,000 sq ft at One Braham, E1, providing a major boost to July take-up.
Looking ahead, with the diminishing development pipeline limiting supply, good performance in the occupier market is likely to continue for the year. Occupiers are aware of the increased competition to secure the best possible space and acting ahead of lease events, which in certain submarkets is reflected in rental values. This increases the likelihoods of pre-lets going forward giving assurance to developers that their projects are viable. Alternatively while the occupier market holds up, uncertainty continues to impact the investment market, with H1 2019 volumes reaching £5.2bn, 39% below the same period last year and almost 50% below previous H1 peak seen in 2015.