More of this, please. Photo: Getty.
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Believe it or not, London doesn't have enough offices

We're demolishing the equivalent of seven Shards, says Deloitte.

Okay, I know this sounds unlikely, but it’s true nonetheless: London is facing a worrying shortage of office space.

This, I suspect, may come as a bit of a surprise. Everyone with an internet connection will know that the capital is facing a housing crisis (if only because there’s a section of the media that talks of little else). But London's commercial property market seems to be thriving. There are huge new developments underway in places like Docklands and King's Cross, and the most visible change to the city over the last few years has been the growing number of skyscrapers dotting the skyline.

And yet, according to the ‘London Office Crane Survey’ published last week by Deloitte, "office space is likely to remain in short supply over the next two years". What gives?

One reason for the apparent disconnect is that the received wisdom that we're building a lot is just, well, wrong: office construction rates have actually been running at below their historical average for five years now. Okay, there are 230 skyscrapers on the cards – but the majority of these don’t have planning permission, and even if they go ahead, most will be residential. Basically, our perceptions are skewed by a few very visible projects.

But there's something else going on, too. While there's 9.2 million square feet of new office space currently under construction, another 4.5 million square feet is being demolished. This, notes Deloitte, is the equivalent of knocking down 7.6 Shards. Throw in an economic recovery, which means more businesses wanting more space, and thing are starting to get a little tight.

Eventually, the shortage should translate into a new wave of developments; that's likely to mean more skyscrapers, if only because of the eye-wateringly high cost of land. That, though, is some way off. This year will see a spike in the number of new buildings completed, but the lowest number of new starts since 2010; there's not much in the pipeline for next year either. All told, it’s likely to be 2017 before the current demolitions start to translate into a new wave of shiny new skyscrapers.

So for the immediate future, the main result of the shortage will be a rise in office rents. Already these are almost back to pre-recession levels, with a West End office now setting you back an average of £110.00 per square foot per year. Great if you own a building – not so great if you just want to rent one.

Here’s an infographic, summarising the report’s full findings.  

This is a preview of our new sister publication, CityMetric. We'll be launching its website soon - in the meantime, you can follow it on Twitter and Facebook.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @JonnElledge.

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Appreciate the full horror of Nigel Farage's pro-Trump speech

The former Ukip leader has appeared at a Donald Trump rally. It went exactly as you would expect.

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce Nigel Farage is at it again.

The on-again, off-again Ukip leader and current Member of the European Parliament has appeared at a Donald Trump rally to lend his support to the presidential candidate.

It was, predictably, distressing.

Farage started by telling his American audience why they, like he, should be positive.

"I come to you from the United Kingdom"

Okay, good start. Undeniably true.

"– with a message of hope –

Again, probably quite true.

Image: Clearly hopeful (Wikipedia Screenshot)

– and optimism.”

Ah.

Image: Nigel Farage in front of a poster showing immigrants who are definitely not European (Getty)

He continues: “If the little people, if the real people–”

Wait, what?

Why is Trump nodding sagely at this?

The little people?

Image: It's a plane with the name Trump on it (Wikimedia Commons)

THE LITTLE PEOPLE?

Image: It's the word Trump on the side of a skyscraper I can't cope with this (Pixel)

THE ONLY LITTLE PERSON CLOSE TO TRUMP IS RIDING A MASSIVE STUFFED LION

Image: I don't even know what to tell you. It's Trump and his wife and a child riding a stuffed lion. 

IN A PENTHOUSE

A PENTHOUSE WHICH LOOKS LIKE LIBERACE WAS LET LOOSE WITH THE GILT ON DAY FIVE OF A PARTICULARLY BAD BENDER

Image: So much gold. Just gold, everywhere.

HIS WIFE HAS SO MANY BAGS SHE HAS TO EMPLOY A BAG MAN TO CARRY THEM

Image: I did not even know there were so many styles of Louis Vuitton, and my dentists has a lot of old copies of Vogue.

Anyway. Back to Farage, who is telling the little people that they can win "against the forces of global corporatism".

 

Image: Aaaaarggghhhh (Wikipedia Screenshot)

Ugh. Okay. What next? Oh god, he's telling them they can have a Brexit moment.

“... you can beat Washington...”

“... if enough decent people...”

“...are prepared to stand up against the establishment”

Image: A screenshot from Donald Trump's Wikipedia page.

I think I need a lie down.

Watch the full clip here:

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland