(Reuters) – Office space provider Workspace said on Thursday utilisation of its centres in London peaked at more than half of pre-pandemic levels by the end of September, as workers returned to the city following the lifting of lockdowns.
The company, whose utilisation rate last month reached 56% of 2019 levels mid-week, said like-for-like occupancy was up 2.7 percentage points in the second quarter to 85.6%, and up 3.7% in the half year from a low of 81.9% at the end of March this year.
“It’s great to see London coming back to life, and our latest utilisation and occupancy figures show that London’s SMEs are leading the way back to the office,” Workspace boss Graham Clemett said in a statement.
The company, which has around 3,000 customers, also said pricing is stabilising, with average rent per square feet edging higher by 0.3% in the second quarter to 35.50 pounds.
Workspace said it has collected 97% of rents due for the second quarter so far, taking the collection rate over the first two quarters of the year to 96%. The company, like the rest of the sector, battled with low rent levels during the pandemic.
(This story corrects to say ‘utilisation’, not ‘occupancy’, in first paragraph)
(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sriraj Kalluvila)