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LONDON-More than 1.5 million sf of speculative office development has been postponed in central London over the past six months, according to the latest developers survey from DTZ. Developers are pulling back from projects in the face of an unremittingly gloomy lettings market. Six months ago, DTZ identified 3.2 million sf of speculative projects in the pipeline in central London, but now this has fallen to just 1.7 million sf.

But some bravehearts are pressing on with speculative schemes and one million sf of speculative development started in central London over the past six months. But this is down from 1.5 million sf in the six months previously. Overall, DTZ expects speculative development completions to rise in 2003 before falling in 2004.

In March 2002 there was 15.0 million sf of office space under construction in Central London, of which 5.3 million sf was not pre-let. By the end of September 2002, this had risen to 16.8 million sf of which 7.0 million sf was speculative.

John Forrester, Head of Central London offices at DTZ, said “There is little doubt that recent economic uncertainty has impacted on the development market. The results of this survey suggest that developers have been quick to react to changing economic conditions and remain cautious with regard to prospects for speculative activity.”

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