Two contractors have won more than 50% of fit-out work in the London office market over the past two years, according to Metropolis Property Research.

ISG InteriorExterior and Overbury completed 53% of the work, with ISG taking 30% and Overbury 23%.

Skanska secured 10% of work in the period covered, from January 2004 to December 2005, and Structure Tone obtained 8%. In joint last place, with 4% of fit-out contractor appointments, were Barclay Brothers, Modus and Canary Wharf.

The Metropolis survey noted, however, that many fit-out projects are yet to appoint a contractor. In 2005 1.4 million ft2 of office space were still without a contractor while this year the figure stands at 3 million ft².

In the architectural field the chasing pack is closer to the leading pair. MCM tops the table with 20% of fit-out mandates followed by Bennett Interior Design (15%) and HOK (13%). Last place is shared by two architects, DEGW and MoreySmith Associates, each with 3%.

Andy King, author of the survey, who is managing director of Metropolis Property Research, said: “I’m surprised at how many players there are in the architects’ market – I expected just one or two names to have most of the work.

“I expect the US firms will increase their market share in 2006 thanks to upcoming projects that are yet to be announced.”

The survey analysed all central London office lettings over 25,000 ft² in the past two years. In 2004 11.3 million ft² of office space was rented, equal to 783 deals, while in 2005, 11 million ft2 was taken up in 715 deals.

The outlook for this year looks just as buoyant. The survey reveals that take-up of office space this year will be 12.5 million ft², the biggest since 2000.

King said: “What we’re seeing is demand for office space and an active letting market reflecting the buoyancy in the economy.”

The survey also looked at project managers and agents. The top four project managers were closely ranked. Drivers Jonas, Trench Farrow and GTMS have been appointed on 15% of London office fit-out jobs in 2004 and 2005. They are followed by Davis Langdon with 14% and Stuart Brown with 12%.

Agents are led by CB Richard Ellis with 22% and DTZ with 18%.

The survey was prepared for the Context Office Interiors and Fit-Out Conference being held at Olympia on 10th and 11th October 2006. See for more information.