Office lettings in central London fell by almost a third over the past six months as companies scaled down staffing needs and froze office searches because of economic uncertainty. Financial Times

Office take-up in the key City of London market fell 40% in the six months to March compared with the six months previously and 60% in the Docklands area as the effects of the credit crisis hit financial occupiers.

There have been predictions of more than 10,000 job losses in the City as banks struggle in the wake of the sub-prime lending crisis.

The sharp falls in lettings were disclosed in a quarterly update from Jones Lang Lasalle which also showed the City office market was facing the first downward pressure on rents since 2004.

Jones Lang forecasts a 2% drop in prime rents in 2008 and a higher drop for larger office lettings. Previous forecasts predicted growth.