Tech firms 'shrugging off Brexit and leasing office space'

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Technology firms are particularly keen to take on new office space in London right now, experts have revealed.

According to Knight Frank, the leasing market has done well in recent months, partly because tech companies have "shrugged off" the uncertainty around Brexit.

This has coincided with a strong appetite for London offices from overseas property investors.

As a result, Knight Frank is cautiously confident about the city's prospects as the process of leaving the European Union gets underway.

"The fundamentals of the London office market are strong," said Stephen Clifton, head of central London offices at Knight Frank.

"We view 2017 as a year that will surprise on the upside."

However, Mr Clifton went on to state that if London is to successfully accommodate ten million people, its "crowded" central business district needs to be extended.

"There are seven new core districts currently under development," he noted, such as the former Olympic Village in Stratford, Nine Elms and Canary Wharf.

James Roberts, chief economist at Knight Frank, added that tech and creative firms have overtaken finance as the driving force behind London's office market.

Indeed, figures show the sector has been the leading source of demand every year for the last five years.

"I see this rising digital tide counterbalancing the impact of financial job losses," Mr Roberts said.

"If technology and creative industries in London continue to expand at their average growth rate over the next three years, that would offset a 15 per cent fall in financial sector headcount."

Mr Roberts added that anecdotal evidence suggests that tech firms are planning significant growth in London over the coming year.

For instance, he understands that Facebook intends to increase job numbers in the capital by half during 2017.

This, he said, reinforces the message that tech is still committed to growth in London," he stated.