Building slumps in London

Published:  23 November, 2010

LONDON: Building activity in central London has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years.

Just 2.7 million sq ft – or 22 schemes are under construction in the heart of the capital, 52% down on six months ago and 68% lower than a year ago according to the latest Drivers Jonas Deloitte (DJD) Crane Survey.

The sharp drop in activity is a consequence of developers scrapping projects in the recession, as finance dried up and demand from businesses to rent space disappeared.

GDP figures have shown that the construction industry has been driving economic growth, but analysts have warned that the improvement has been down to public sector work and that private sector projects are still limited, as shown by the DJD report.

The slowdown in projects is particularly evident in the City, where no new development has started this year, the first time this has happened in the 20-year history of the Crane Survey. Just four buildings are under construction, making up 1.3 million sq ft of space. According to DJD, 2011 and 2012 will be the lowest years for completions on record and the 'bottom' of the current cycle.

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