According to AMA Research, more than three-quarters (78%) of the skyscrapers in the UK pipeline are owned by residential buildings and commercial office projects make up only about 3% of the projects.
The pipeline of high-rise buildings across the UK remains strong, with around 549 under development, including around 58% in London, although projects in the capital account for more than three-quarters of the total pipeline value.
Across the UK, there were 1,277 existing skyscrapers and structures of at least 50m and 266 of at least 75m in the past month, the vast majority of which are in London, while other key locations are Birmingham and Manchester. The UK has only 31 skyscrapers over 150m high, but almost half of them have been completed since 2018, and only one building – The Shard in London over 300m.
In contrast to other international cities, London is considered a “low-rise” for a global city and financial capital of the world, with the pace of high-rise development being far behind other global cities. However, in recent years the number of proposed and approved skyscrapers has increased in London and in many of the UK’s major cities.
Uncertainties about the outcome of “Brexit” had contributed to a slowdown in speculative new office buildings in recent years, but industry sources suggest that investor confidence in London’s office market, for which many high-profile skyscrapers are being proposed, remains high is plans The City and Canary Wharf.
Both in the UK and around the world, the number of residential towers has risen sharply and the number of mixed-use towers has increased significantly. As recently as 15 years ago, towers were mainly built for the commercial office market; they now only make up 3% of the projects in the current development pipeline.
Alex Blagden, research analyst at AMA Research, said high-rise construction has historically been driven by demand for offices in the City of London, London Docklands and central Manchester.
“However, since 2010 there has been a significant shift towards residential projects, largely driven by speculative investments in luxury apartment towers in central London and Docklands,” he said. “However, since the UK left the EU, growth in foreign investment in private luxury home ownership has slowed. In recent years there has been a significant increase in the development of residential high-rise buildings in the larger cities in the north and in Birmingham. ”, Mainly driven by investments in private rental and student dormitories.
“In the medium term, high-rise construction in Great Britain will continue to expand. While London, Manchester, Salford and Birmingham remain major high-rise locations, other cities are becoming major high-rise activity centers – Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow and Sheffield in particular. “
It was previously estimated that 23% of existing high-rise buildings were designed for office use, but in the UK only 15% of high-rise completions between 2016 and 2020 were offices, a figure that drops to 11% for buildings in the UK that are piping. Office skyscrapers are predominantly concentrated in city centers. Private rental (including build-to-rent) and student dormitories are major growth areas in the housing market, with demand being driven by the scarcity of affordable private and student housing in London.