British Land reports busiest period for office deals in a decade, as value of property portfolio rises

British Land has returned to property portfolio growth and profitability, the FTSE 100 landlord said as its boss reported the busiest office leasing period in a decade.


Simon Carter gave the update alongside announcing a major office pre-let to law firm Allen & Overy. The landlord also said it will commit to developing 580,000 square feet of workspace, shops and homes across three new buildings in Canada Water, where work has begun.


Carter said the firm’s office campus division had a strong half year to September 30, with lettings to companies including Facebook and property agent JLL.


Carter said that while occupiers are not necessarily upsizing, as they adapt to flexible working, many are hunting for modern and environmentally-friendly offices. He added: “We are seeing demand focused on the absolute best space.”


Total lettings and renewals totalled 819,000 square feet. The boss told the Evening Standard it was the busiest leasing six month period for the office campuses business in 10 years.


The value of the campuses division gained 3% in the six month period, but retail parks registered the highest growth, up 7.1%.


British Land’s total estate value was £9.8 billion as at the period end, up from £9.1 billion in March 2021.


It recorded a pre-tax profit of £370 million from a £730 million loss last year when income was hurt by lockdowns as many retail tenants had to temporarily close stores.


Since the period ended, British Land has pre-let a further 254,000 square feet to Allen & Overy at its Broadgate site in the City.


The tenant will be relocating from a larger London office, with a plan to move more than 1,800 people in phases during the winter of 2026-27.


A&O managing partner Gareth Price said: “The new office space is a step-change in terms of energy consumption and better reflects the way we want the firm to work in the future.”


British Land’s Carter said the energy efficiency at the building being created is six times better than the existing site there.


Evening Standard (Joanna Bourke) -

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