New York Roars & What to do with Old Offices

June 9, 2021
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Prime London prices rise and New York roars 

House prices in prime central London grew by 0.3% in the year to May, the first rise in five years.
 
The last time prices increased on an annual basis was in May 2016, the month before the EU referendum. Subsequent political uncertainty, combined with rising taxes on high-value property, meant average prices fell 17% in the intervening period.

A period of house price inflation in PCL has therefore been overdue and was on the horizon when the pandemic struck. The relaxing of international travel rules will gradually provide a further boost, particularly in locations such as Mayfair and Knightsbridge.
 
The outlook for prime property is also the focus of a new episode of Intelligence Talks. Anna Ward speaks to Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, to find out whether we are on the cusp of a Roaring Twenties for London and New York’s prime markets. Listen here, or wherever you get your podcasts.
 
What to do with old offices? 

We've talked in recent notes about the resilience of prime global office markets, particularly London, which is facing a shortage of the kind of grade A space occupiers want. Questions remain, however, as to what to do about the second hand, dated space that doesn't meet the sustainability and collaborative demands of multinationals.
 
Greater Paris is the most densely populated region in Europe. At 55 million sq meters, it also has the largest amount of office stock, 80% of which was built more than 20 years ago. Hundreds of thousands of square meters have been refurbished since these buildings were constructed, but 1.2 million square meters has now been empty for more than four years, representing a third of the available supply. 
 
That makes Paris perfectly placed to act as a case study to see whether dated office space can be successfully repurposed or relet. David Bourla, Knight Frank’s man in Paris, weighs up whether converting space into homes holds the key.

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