Long run relationships between City office rents and the economy in the UK: creating a database for research
Devaney , S., (2007) Long run relationships between City office rents and the economy in the UK: creating a database for research. Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 08/07. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp21.
This paper sets out progress during the first eighteen months of doctoral research into the City of London office market. The overall aim of the research is to explore relationships between office rents and the economy in the UK over the last 150 years. To do this, a database of lettings has been created from which a long run index of City office rents can be constructed. With this index, it should then be possible to analyse trends in rents and relationships with their long run determinants. The focus of this paper is on the creation of the rent database. First, it considers the existing secondary sources of long run rental data for the UK. This highlights a lack of information for years prior to 1970 and the need for primary data collection if earlier periods are to be studied. The paper then discusses the selection of the City of London and of the time period chosen for research. After this, it describes how a dataset covering the period 1860-1960 has been assembled using the records of property companies active in the City office market. It is hoped that, if successful, this research will contribute to existing knowledge on the long run characteristics of commercial real estate. In particular, it should add a price dimension (rents) to the existing long run information on stock/supply and investment. Hence, it should enable a more complete picture of the development and performance of commercial real estate through time to be gained.