Office take up has declined and availability increased in Midtown and Soho while the Southbank has ‘bucked the trend’ during the second quarter of the year, according to EA Shaw.

In its Q2 Midtown, Soho & Southbank London office market report published today, the property services company said that availability continued to increase in Midtown but vacancy rates remained low at an average of 3.8%.

In Midtown during the second quarter it said that availability had increased by 16% to 972,000 sq ft while supply is now 124% higher than the levels experienced 12 months ago.

The Southbank market has beaten the trend with availability declined to around 2.7% or 407,000 sq ft, in part due to a lack of grade A office stock, and supply was now 22% lower than 12 months ago.

However it said while take-up increased by 10% compared with the first quarter it was still lower than the long-term average.

In Soho availability has increase by 8% in the second quarter to 219,000 sq ft but take up in the second quarter was 51% lower than in the first quarter of 2007.

EA Shaw added that overall demand was down on long term averages and that the amount of space under offer was at its lowest for 5 years. ‘This is possibly because numerous occupiers are waiting for a further shift in the market,’ it said.

There was also evidence of some rental reduction at certain schemes and EA Shaw said: ‘In isolated cases and usually for specific reasons, we are witnessing the first rental reductions as incentives have already moved out’