Strong London office market confounds Brexit predictions

The BT headquarters in the City of London is not a risk-free investment: with the telecoms provider planning to move out within three years, any buyer will need to refurbish the building and find a new tenant just as the UK is leaving the EU. Yet when a first round of the auction took place on the 1980s building at 81 Newgate Street last month, more than 10 bidders of varying nationalities submitted offers for the site. Some were well above the £200m asking price, according to people briefed on the sale. The high level of interest in the site close to St Paul’s Cathedral is the latest sign of strong demand for London office property, despite the unknowns of Brexit and predictions of a slump after the UK voted to leave the EU. About £12bn of central London office real estate changed hands in the first three quarters of this year - in line with last year’s sum, which was the highest in five years.

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