Owners of commercial properties in London are cashing in on the boom of serviced offices, which offer short term, flexible office space to small and medium sized businesses.
The general rise in commercial rents, combined with the rising number of start-ups in the city has meant there are many smaller firms looking for serviced offices in their fledgling years. These flexible leases mean that if the business doesn't succeed, then they're not stuck with the large cost of breaking a lease.
In the past year, the serviced office industry has grown by 67%, and across London you'll now find over five million square feet of these useful offices. Many landlords who own commercial properties have cashed in by dividing the space into smaller sections, allowing small firms to rent their first office without breaking the bank.
Top locations for serviced offices include the West End and Docklands, while the trendy E1 area has also seen a huge increase in demand.
While landlords who want to join the serviced office market will face stiff competition from the larger firms; it's well designed offices in desirable locations that are the most in demand by renters.
Turning a property into serviced offices can mean investing in improvements to facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens, or dividing up space. However, it could potentially lead to a great return, with the average cost of desk space in London more than twice the rest of the UK. The average cost per desk is £512 per month in the capital, and areas with the most searches include the transport hub of Victoria, and recently gentrified Kings Cross.