Great Portland Estates PLC (LON:GPE) said rent collection in the March quarter was ahead of all four previous quarters as the COVID-19 vaccination programme and the easing of lockdown restrictions supported renewed optimism.
To date, 82% of March rent has been collected, including amounts covered by rent deposits. However, the figure was pulled down by the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, where only 44% of rent has been collected.
“The most recent COVID-19 lockdown has disrupted the activities of many businesses across London, resulting in a number of occupiers still being unable to meet their rental commitments,” said chief executive Toby Courtauld.
“However, the ongoing vaccination programme and government roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions is supporting renewed optimism, which we are seeing reflected in improved rent collection, greater letting activity and increased enquiry levels on available space.”
It said prime offices and best in class flexible spaces continue to be highly sought after and in relatively short supply, both trends which it expects to persist.
“Whilst the near-term outlook will remain unpredictable, looking beyond COVID, we are confident that London will maintain its position as one of only a handful of truly global cities attracting businesses, capital and talent from around the world,” said Courtauld.