Life Sciences Demand for Space Cannot Fill Every Void

As London’s office market continues to go through uncertain times the demand for lab space, by the life sciences, sector seems to be the answer everybody is relying on at present.

As reported last week, Canary Wharf has written off nearly a billion in value of their office space with vacancy rates expected to reach 20% this year.  Whilst trying to attract new occupiers with 800,000 sq ft of life science buildings at One North Quay, they are a little behind some of the opposition.  One North Quay could be ready in 2027, but British Land’s lab campus, at Regents Place, has a head start and is bang in the mix of Imperial College, UCL and the Francis Crick Institute.

London sits at one corner of the London, Oxford, Cambridge, “Golden Triangle” for life science space.  Whilst the country’s tech talent is most abundant in London, the cost of lab space will obviously be higher.  Take-up for labs across the three cities was about 925,000 sq ft last year, just 10% of which was in London – clearly this will need to change.

Even with an increased demand for lab space in the capital, there will still remain the question of location and, on the face of it, Regents Place would appear to be in pole.  The level of demand in a couple of year’s time will dictate how much this sector can help in upturning London’s Commercial Property Market across all its sub-markets.

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