The equal of 60 cucumbers is dormant as vacant workplace area in central London hits a 15-year excessive

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An area equivalent to 60 Gherkin skyscrapers is dormant as vacant office space in central London has reportedly reached its highest level in 15 years.

Data from CoStar, the real estate information company cited by Bloomberg, suggests availability has increased by just over 50% since late 2019, going from 20 million square feet to 31 million square feet in August 2022.

Even some of the city’s longest-established institutions are now offering a degree of flexible working as the pandemic begins to impact central London’s commercial property market.

READ Are the city’s landlords headed for a post-Covid showdown with renters?

Bloomberg cites additional CoStar data that suggests available square footage grew at a slower pace in 2022 than the previous two years, indicating a slowdown in new capacity coming to market.

But central London has now passed a peak of vacant office space last seen in mid-2009, a point at which many property loans plummeted.

Five million square feet is to be marketed for subletting, but tenants might have a hard time filling them with returning workers.

Apple employees, for example, are protesting next month’s return-to-office order, while an Aug. 18 survey by real estate consultancy JLL found that 77% of market leaders agreed that offering remote or hybrid work will be crucial to moving forward attracting and retaining talent .

To contact the author of this story with feedback or updates, email Justin Cash