Take-up of new offices in the City of London has fallen to its lowest level for more than 20 years as the slowdown in the economy has reined in financial services businesses from expanding and moving to new buildings.

There has been just 220,000 sq ft of new occupied space in the Square Mile since the start of the year, which is on track for the worst quarter since property consultancy Atisreal began collecting data in 1987. This level is half the previous lowest office take-up, during the last recession, when 500,000 sq ft was let in the third quarter of 1991.

The economic downturn has hit the City office market hard, with many businesses looking to cut staff and reduce office occupation. Some are also looking to sub-let their own space.

According to Atisreal, the vacancy rate in the City is 12.4%, or 10m sq ft, still significantly less than the last recession

Financial Times