London Shows Surprising Resiliency in Occupancy Numbers During Covid-19

A coworking space in London.

London Shows Surprising Resiliency in Occupancy Numbers During Covid-19

London was at the forefront of the global coworking revolution in 2019, with estimates from Coworking Resources revealing the UK capital had seen more openings of new spaces than any other city in the world last year.

However, demand plummeted to 20% of pre-pandemic levels in the UK in April of this year, according to data from Instant Offices, rising to just 25% in June. 

Despite this drop, actual occupancy levels remained fairly robust, with Savills’ flexible office advisory division citing only a 15% drop in occupancy between March and June—down to 77% from 92%. This fact negates the assumption by valuers that customers will leave flexible assets during a downturn.

On the contrary, dropping by only 15% in the worst possible recession is very positive, demonstrating a unique and well-positioned resiliency in London in the long term.

London is one of several capital markets to illustrate this surprising trend of occupancy resiliency during Covid-19 and a quick return to high levels of demand. Coworker data shows there was a +420% increase in lead volumes for London this September, despite lows in May. 

While most industry experts would agree that markets in APAC (like Hong Kong) have been sturdiest of all, cities in the UK are in better shape than their European peers because they started from a higher base.

By the end of August, operators had expected a contracted occupancy rate of 71%, demonstrating that even if people aren’t going into their coworking offices, they are still paying rent. With resiliency like this, London may even get back to its pre-Covid growth of one new space opening every five days in the city.


To learn more about market resiliency in spite of Covid-19 , read about the global month-over-month recovery witnessed by Coworker since April here

Related  Opinion: Coworking Can Survive This Pandemic and Come Out Stronger
Kelly Konya
Kelly Konya
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Chief Editor and Media Director

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