LONDON-Office rental growth is continuing across the UK, according to the latest 50 Centres report from Jones Lang LaSalle. But the pace of growth may be slowing.

The survey found that 22 of the top 50 centres saw new records for the current cycle set during the six months ended 31 March 2001. But neither of the highest-rented locations–Maidenhead in Berkshire or Hammersmith in West London–saw any evidence of increased rentals in the period, implying that the US downturn had already impacted on activity in the M4 Corridor. Both still have top rents of £35 ($49.35) per sf although JLL is of the opinion that £39 ($55) per sf could be achievable in Hammersmith if the right space came to the market.

The biggest rental increase was seen in Norwich in East Anglia, where rents rose by 23.8% in six months to reach £13 ($18.33) per sf. Brighton on the South coast saw the next biggest leap with a 17.1% rent hike to £16.40 ($23.12) per sf, followed by Bournemouth, also on the South coast, with an increase of 11.6% to £12 ($16.92) per sf.

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