LONDON-Office rents in the Golden Triangle, west of London, are set to fall 20% by the end of 2001. In a new report on the West London and Thames Valley markets, Rogers Chapman forecasts that that effective rents for the best space will end 2001 at between £25 ($35) and £27.50 (£39)per sf.

The region has traditionally been dependent on IT, telecoms and American companies, all of which bearing the brunt of the economic downturn. The report notes: ‘any hopes that a US recession would be short-lived or shallow look unduly optimistic in the light of recent events.’ It expects sharp falls in demand to result in falling rents.

However Rogers Chapman says the development supply pipeline is ‘fairly well contained’ because developers have remained cautious throughout the recent boom. This should be sufficient to prevent the massive oversupply which plagued the region during the previous downturn in the early 1990s.

Rogers Chapman Director John Izett said: ‘We have a difficult year ahead of us but this region has the advantages of high quality office stock, excellent communications and a highly skilled workforce. Once it has swallowed a rather bitter pricing adjustment, we expect confidence to return.’

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