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Housing boom squeezing businesses out of London's West End



Oscar Williams-Grut   

London's housing boom is pushing businesses out of the West End, a leading commercial property advisor has warned.
A survey by DeVono Property found demand in the area out stripping supply, warning that a lack of new development and expansion of existing companies in the area was forcing firms to look elsewhere.

The property advisor, which has acquired the most office space for firms in the capital over the past six years, said new office space developments were being neglected in favour of housing projects.

London has seen a flurry of residential activity recently, fueled by the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, while commercial projects such as 100 Bishopsgate and The Pinnacle, near Liverpool Street, have stalled.

DeVono highlighted the recent move of companies including Alexander McQueen, Esprit and Agent Provocateur to the eastern fringes of the city as examples of businesses being forced to look elsewhere for offices.

DeVono found the highest demand for West End space was in areas where large-scale residential developments are currently underway, such as Great Marlborough Street, Great Portland Street, Marble Arch and the edges of Covent Garden and Soho.

Adam Landau, DeVono property director, said: “Businesses struggle to get into West End streets where there might have traditionally been a ready supply.  Many SMEs are now settling for fringe locations such Holborn, Clerkenwell, and Shoreditch as a result of this and the increase in occupier costs.”

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