Emerging Areas for Affordable Office Space: London

A morning aerial view across the London city skyline, with The Gherkin building in the foreground and the River Thames winding away in the background. Image at LondonOfficeSpace.com.

As one of the world’s most dynamic office markets, London’s real estate offer caters to a diverse range of occupiers, from large corporations seeking trophy office spaces to startups interested in coworking space in alternative locations that offer competitive prices. 

In this article, we focus on the up-and-coming London districts that offer affordable office space options.

London’s prime office districts: Current market trends

Being based in one of the world’s most dynamic business environments comes with a price tag. Data from 2023 show that while Central London offices are at their highest leasing volume since 2019, growing asking rents are becoming a top concern for tenants. In Q4 2023, West End office spaces reached averages of £140 / sq ft, and climbed to nearly £80 / sq ft in other popular office districts, such as The City.

The cost of flexible office space is also on the rise, especially in central locations like Holborn (£500 person/month), Liverpool Street (£750 p/m), and Mayfair-Knightsbridge (up to £1,000 p/m).

Unsurprisingly, up to 25% of surveyed businesses are downsizing or seeking more affordable options in coworking spaces, especially those who’ve adopted hybrid working. Other companies concerned about the cost of office space are relocating to up-and-coming office districts, where they can find options that don’t compromise on quality while remaining affordable. 

Where are the top emerging affordable office districts in London?

1. Hackney: A creative hub in East London

In recent years, Hackney has earned a reputation as one of the most promising creative hubs in the city. Located 3 miles away from central London, this district suits office-based businesses with a preference for an East London location, being an affordable alternative to Shoreditch. The area has attracted investment and support initiatives, which led to the creation of many media, tech, fashion, and social enterprises. That’s in addition to established local businesses like Burberry, Nike, or Savills. 

A street-level view down a side street in Shoreditch. A woman in a grey overcoat is walking down the footpath on the left and lining the right side of the street is a multi-storey converted building painted black except for the word “love” spray-painted in bright pink in the bottom right corner in the foreground. Image at LondonOfficeSpace.com.

Office space in Hackney is mostly clustered around Hackney Central, although affordable options also exist in Fish Island and Hackney Wick, which also benefit from easy access to the Stratford transport hub. 

In the 10 years to 2019, Hackney experienced a 35% gain in office floorspace – the highest of all London boroughs. Due to its growing appeal, it’s expected that by 2030 office space occupancy will be 9% higher than in 2019. 

Prime rents are in the low to mid £40s / sq ft, being in the lower end on the Dalston side, and higher the closer to Stratford they are. 

2. Deptford: Heritage meets affordability

Due to its location right on the banks of the River Thames, Deptford was historically known for its thriving commercial activity linked to the docks. More recently, various regeneration projects have transformed this district into an appealing office location that offers affordability and historical charm.

Office space is located mostly around Deptford Bridge, but in general the SE8 postcode is one of the most affordable in the up-and-coming Southeast Quarter. Direct trains connect the area with Cannon Street in the City, and Deptford is close to London City Airport. 

Lewisham council has been actively involved in widening access to affordable workspaces in the borough, which now are the base of businesses as diverse as creative studios, architecture firms, and graphic design startups.

Rental rates for private and serviced office space in Deptford business centres are in the mid £30s / sq ft.

An early morning view from on the water of the River Thames, looking towards Tower Bridge in the distance. Image at LondonOfficeSpace.com.

3. White City: Affordable West London offices

Redevelopment work in the late 2000s and improved transportation options have turned White City into an appealing office location in West London. The district’s offices mainly attract office-based businesses in sectors like education, biotech, and life sciences, whereas the newest developments in White City Place target office occupiers in the creative and media sectors. 

Prime rents in White City average £60 / sq ft, still below the average asking rate in more pricey Central London locations. This location combines affordable rates with proximity to top-tier office districts, like Knightsbridge and Chelsea

4. Barnet: Cost-Effective office space in North London

This North London borough is known for its abundance of green spaces and high enterprise birth rates. Barnet may appeal to businesses seeking an affordable office rental in close proximity to Northern Line stations, and is also convenient for companies with hybrid work arrangements whose staff live in the area. 

Most office accommodation options are in the area between Finchley and Brent Cross, and also in the eastern neighbourhoods along the A406. Although Barnet is a small office market in size, it scores big points in accessibility and affordability. 

The most common office space occupiers are companies involved in education, healthcare, and professional business services, which benefit from low rental rates in the £25 to £35 / sq ft range.

A man is walking away towards London’s Tower Bridge in the distance, pulling along his wheeled suitcase. Image at LondonOfficeSpace.com.


Hackney, Deptford, White City, and Barnet are some of the emerging London districts that offer affordable office space, good transport connections, and a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. Office accommodation in these areas is a good alternative for businesses seeking affordability and functionality at different stages of their growth journey.

Seeking Out Cheap Office Space Options in London?

Are you a startup on a shoestring looking for affordable coworking space or cheap office space in Greater London boroughs? Or maybe you’re a more established business looking to upgrade to private office spaces or a serviced office in the Square Mile? We provide a range of office solutions that will fit any business. Please contact us at 020 3965 9617 to speak with one of our friendly office space consultants. Our workspace professionals will assist you and your company in finding the ideal office space in London to meet your specific requirements.

For further reading, below are some of our most recent articles on business and office space:

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Sustainable Workspaces: How Office Spaces in London Are Adopting Eco-Friendly Practices
Mastering the Art of the Office Seating Plan
Comparing Office Space Cost: Central London vs Outer London
Prime Locations for Office Space, Central London
Harnessing Clean Technology: Five Strategies for Energy-Efficient Office Spaces
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