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Tall Buildings to Drive London's Economic Recovery

Despite the predictions of many, the Covid pandemic has not impacted upon the longer term demand for tall buildings.

While demand for tall buildings may have been uncertain during 2020, many developers remain bullish about the future uptake for skyscrapers. We will review the appetite for both commercial and residential skyscrapers in London and investigate the potential positives for the construction industry generally in future blogs.

With nearly 600 tall buildings in London either under construction, with planning or going through planning, there are now nearly 8% more high rise buildings planned than this time last year.

The New London Plan has been influential in encouraging more tall buildings, however only 115 (20%) of these tall buildings are planned for Central London. The largest demand for tall buildings is East London with 261 (45%), West London with 108 (18%), South London with 60 (10%) and North London with 40 (7%). Source: New London Architecture, London Tall Buildings Survey 2021.

Commercial Buildings

Despite the recent demand for working from home, there remains a longer term shortage of high quality office space. Owners and occupiers remain committed to encouraging employees into more attractive, collaborative and inspiring business spaces, with developers adapting designs for spaces to ensure they are at the forefront of a demand led return to the office.

Whilst just 10% of the near 600 tall buildings are planned to be commercial office space, this will go some way to reducing the shortage of prime office space. As the desire for views increases, so does the average height of commercial tall buildings. With an average height of 32 storeys, up from 28 storeys last year, the skyline certainly looks set to change. Love them or hate them, high rise skyscrapers will continue to provide a construction boom over the coming decade.

Residential Buildings

In a similar reversal of people's opinions, a year ago many believed the desire to live and work in dense cities like London was over. Now, some 90% of the tall buildings planned for London are earmarked to be residential in nature.

While Brexit and the Covid pandemic have led to the first decline in London's population in decades, developers remain convinced this will be short lived, as tall buildings look set to become the way forward for residential living.

As we continue to introduce our readers to many of the most exciting construction projects London has to offer, we'll continue to provide links in our news feature.

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