Serviced offices – a new asset class for London’s commercial property investors

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  • Increase in self-employment numbers creates demand for serviced offices
  • Good returns from letting individual desk space

Commercial property in London

Last year, Swiss Re, the company whose headquarters is the Gherkin, decided to scale down their operation and sublet much of the building.

A difficulty faced by all the office buildings constructed at the turn of the millennium is that they were intended for companies whose workers all attended the office every day. Commercial estate agents in London could not have predicted the effect of the internet age, which allows employees the convenience of remote working and helps companies cut down on the cost of office space. They were also not ready for the recession, which saw many businesses downsize and more self-employment opportunities arise.

A new way of working

Business owners have the benefits of an office address for a fraction of the cost of running a whole premises.

But all is not lost, and commercial property continues to be a sound investment in London. Developers and entrepreneurs have identified the need for a different kind of working and a different kind of space to work in. With self-employment at an all-time high, fewer people are clocking in at the Gherkin, while serviced offices suitable for sole traders are becoming an important part of London’s economy.

Invest in London office space

WeWork, the US serviced office company, has announced plans to open a London branch before the end of 2017, and hope to open eleven more in the near future.  Chloe Robinson, estate agent for commercial property in North and East London, believes this is an important move. “Serviced offices provide fantastic facilities for small businesses, meeting the increased demand for individual desk space,” she explains. “Business owners can have the benefits of an office address, wi-fi, answering service and receptionist, for a fraction of the cost of running a whole office. It’s less lonely than working from home too!

Investors in serviced offices have the option of letting desks individually, which can offer a better return on investment than letting a whole commercial property as one unit – it’s easy to see why WeWork are so successful.

Buy, sell and let commercial property in London

Henry Wiltshire have the expertise to help you buy, sell and let your commercial property in London. For more information, contact your closest Henry Wiltshire office.

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