Office take-up by the financial sector in the City of London has plummeted as the impact of the credit crunch ploughs on, Atisreal said today.

In a first quarter report on take up in Central London it said banking and finance companies only amounted to 8% of the take-up in the city compared to its usual 40% take-up in ‘healthier times’.

Unhealthy times

Andrew Marston, office research analyst at Atisreal, said: ‘In addition there were no deals over 20,000 sq ft to financial occupiers in the City for the second quarter in succession.’

However, the total level of take-up in the City for the first quarter was 1.1m sq ft which which was 23% higher than in the last quarter last year.The total supply in the City is 5m sq ft.

Atisreal said the West End continues to suffer from a lack of supply with the vacancy rate below 4%. He said there was take up of 500,000 sq ft of office space in the first quarter which was 15% down on take up in the Q4 2007.

Marston says the area has seen more activity from smaller tenants taking office space with floorsizes of between 5,000 sand 10,000sq ft.

Nimble occupiers

‘This is particularly true of the West End financial sector, where we've seen stronger activity amongst the smaller, more nimble occupiers,’ said Marston.

Atisreal said there is 2.5m sq ft of available office space supply in the West End.