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Five year low on regional office take-up figures

Friday, 28 April 2017

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The latest research from leading real estate adviser, GVA, reveals Q1 2017 office space take-up across the UK’s ‘Big Nine’ regional office markets to be at its lowest level for five years.

At 23% below average, activity was particularly low in the city centre market where only Cardiff recorded above average take-up. Out-of-town markets were more resilient however with Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Newcastle recording above average take-up.

Professional services made up 28% of all take-up over 5,000 sq. ft. in the city centres during Q1, slightly higher than the usual profile, led by legal and engineering firms. Deals to universities in Cardiff and Bristol meant that the education sub-sector made up 15% of activity. It was a strong quarter for the Technology Media and Telecom (TMT) sector, which increased its share to 18% compared to an average of 13%, while recruitment companies were also very active (9% of take-up).

Carl Potter, Senior Director and National Head of Offices at GVA comments: “Encouragingly, the level of transactional activity tends to increase quarter on quarter during the year. Following the Government Property Unit’s deal in Bristol in December, no further GPU deals have been signed yet this year. However, transactions are being lined up in seven other cities across the Big Nine cities, most of which are well progressed and these very large deals will be a considerable boost to take-up figures throughout the year.”

He adds: “For some cities, such as Manchester, the below average Q1 take-up can be put down to several factors, including the fact that the sheer number of transactions in the final three months of 2016 suggested that we were likely to see reduced figures at the start of this year.”

For any further information on GVA’s latest Big Nine report, please contact Carl Potter, Senior Director and National Head of Offices at GVA on 0121 609 8388 or email carl.potter@gva.co.uk. Read the report here.