11 October 2019

South East towns see low take-up but record rents


A number of South East towns achieved record office rents in the first half of 2019 despite low take-up across the region, according to a report by SHW. The firm’s South East office focus report for Q3 revealed that low availability (3-5%), combined with low occupier costs and a large local workforce, supported rental growth in some areas.

The report cited Croydon, where a number of lettings under 5,000 sq ft had achieved new record rents of £34/sq ft. But there were no lettings of more than 5,000 sq ft in the first six months of 2019 and only 15,000 sq ft was let in total over the same period. This figure, however, more than doubled to 31,000 sq ft between July and September. 


Holly Purvis, director of business space agency at SHW, said factors affecting demand in Croydon included uncertainty surrounding Brexit, delays in the Whitgift Centre redevelopment and a booming flexible office sector. At £48/sq ft, occupancy costs in Croydon are still relatively cheap. 


In Brighton, new schemes such as U+I’s Circus Street development are quoting rents of £35/sq ft - which would be a record for the city.


A new record headline rent was also achieved in Clapham, with £53/sq ft. 


This article originally appeared in Property Week 4/10/19.


To obtain a copy of SHW’s Focus Reports email Tim Hardwicke on



Holly Purvis

020 8662 2735

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Holly Purvis



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