Savills has published its housing forecasts for the next five years.
London unsurprisingly leads the pack, closely followed by the South East. But strip out those hotspots and there's a definite divide in the country. In the north (huge generalisation here) growth is around a half that further south.
Click on the interactive map below to see the forecasts in detail.
The rankings for the most active agents in the UK are out this morning. EGi has spent weeks analysing and compiling the data to find out which agent did the most deals.
And, in the regions it's the independents that have won the most plaudits. In eight out of the 12 categories it's a independent player. Maybe it's the fact that deals are getting smaller (the bread and butter of the smaller agent). Maybe it's the fact that the independents are just a bit more nimble when the economy is looking a bit sorry. Either way they are winning ground.
Click on the map below to find out the overall winners in each region, and to hear what the top players make of their markets, or paste the following link into your browser: http://cdb.io/WjDUtA#
If you'd like to see the full listing of winners and a top five for each region, it's available here
Jones Lang LaSalle's Big 6 Office Market Outlook Breakfast this morning was packed out.
If that's a sign no-one really knows what's going on in the region then I don't know what is.
Things learnt from this morning's presentation: Manchester has completely overtaken Birmingham as the number 1 city (in terms of take-up, see pie chart below) this year; overseas investors are 'irrantional and emotional' (JLL's words not mine); and they need a bigger room for next year's breakfast.
Headline bullet points are below:
London been the driver but, have seen job creation in wider regional economy.
Regional job creation winners: Leeds & Manchester, led by professional services.
Others have more reliance on public services so are losing a bit more ground.
Grade A take-up for all the Big 6 grade would fit in the Shard with 100,000 sq ft left over.
Birmingham deals down 5% Grade A down 40%
Bristol Grade A down 80%. JLL will be passing round a hat later for the Bristol agents
Edinburgh Grade A up 60%
Glasgow deals up grade A down 60%
One city seen more pre lets than anywhere else in big 6 and even London - yes, you've guessed it Aberdeen. Out of town rents £27 per sq ft and JLL believe it will remain buoyant and robust. Take up was 850,000 sq ft in 2012, but there is no Grade A supply left.
Glasgow's serviced office market is up nearly a quarter in the first nine months of this year. But is it today's entrepreneurs / tomorrow's captain's of industry, taking space or the same old firms shrinking?
Figures released today by officebroker.com - and seen here for the first time - show that the number of businesses signing up for space in the city is up 24% on the same period a year ago.
But, they are signing up for less space. The report says that tenants are taking 40% less space (just under five desks) when compared to a year ago.
What's unclear in the report is whether these are fledgling firms being drawn to the local market (a good thing - little acorns and all that) or whether it's the same firms that have always eyed the city as a good location simply needing less space (decidedly less good).
Officebroker think it's the latter. It hopes that the figures show an 'influx of smaller, less established firms, hoping to get a foothold in the city'.
Yes, officebroker would say that, but the final quarter of this year might hold the key. It says Q4 is typically the strongest in terms of new entrants to the market. If those figures are up maybe Glasgow really is at the start of something good, and, as companies grow, put down roots then that's a boost for all those office agents with space to let.
Prices are on the way up, indicating that there is strength in the market. The average cost per workstation has risen to £231 per month (up £11), which, says Chris Meredith, head of UK sales at officebroker.com, means that costs now: "sit just above the Scottish average which indicates that a central
Glasgow postcode is something business owners are willing to pay a
little extra for."
Drivers Jonas Deloitte published its annual UK crane survey today and the findings make for depressing reading but won't cause too much surprise. Looking at the key UK cities: Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow it finds that construction starts have dropped 36% in the 12 months to July compared to previous 12 months period.
Offices, retail and residential schemes (over 10,000 sq ft) are the hardest to find with most activity restricted to student housing and education (click on diagram for a bigger version).
Out of the five cities, it is Birmingham which has seen the most activity, jumping from 8 to 14 starts in 12 months. The comprehensive refurbishment of Five Brindleyplace is the most notable office scheme but this is eclipsed by the huge redevelopment of New Street Station which will include a 250,000 sq ft John Lewis.
At the other end of the scale are Scotland's two biggest cities: Edinburgh and Glasgow. Neither has seen any construction starts although both have projects underway - Edinburgh had a relatively busy crane survey last time around. Most notable development that is already underway is Edinburgh city council's speculative office development Atria which completes early next year.
It is a similar picture for Glasgow in that there is development activity already underway, mainly around the 2014 Commonwealth Games site in the East End.
Bidwells launched its set of Q2 figures today ( the full story is here for EGi subscribers). It's the third set of Cambridge Q2s we've received. And while we wouldn't normally put up all three, given the dispute over earlier figures and claims the city is suffering its worst quarter for over a decade, we'd like you to make your own mind up.
Bidwells reported that Cambridge offices take up rose 25% this quarter compared to Q1*, but the market was only saved by a raft of small deals that kept the city afloat. In stark contrast to last year, says Saul Western, the firm's partner in investment who has overall responsibility for its research, there were no whoppers deals like Microsoft or Mills and Reeve.
Deals to Mott MacDonald and Spicers are on the horizon but they are likely to land in Q3 or probably beyond in Mott MacDonald's case.
It also reported on Norwich, Ipswich and Cambridge lab markets. You can see the full set of figures here:
The big issue is now the supply squeeze. This is hardly unique to the East of England but Saul now reckons there's actually evidence that the developer moratorium is actually hurting the market. For example, sub-20,000 sq ft in both the Cambridge and Milton Keynes market demand far outstrips supply. The flip side of this is in larger size brackets the reverse is true. And in Norwich and Chelmsford, supply still outstrips demand in virtually all the size brackets.
This could mean, in these isolated cases, that the market is very quickly going to turn to a landlords market with a tightening on terms and some hikes in rents. With the bargain hunting over, it will be interesting to see just how many of the requirements this sends running for the hills.
*Incidentally, in our previous, completely unscientific, untested and unaudited poll 88% of you (out of a 144 votes) said they thought take-up in Q2 was 106, 000 sq ft.
Fancy a drink? It seems quite a few of you outside London having been enjoying more than 'just the one'.
It's not often these days that you hear regional markets are out performing the London market. But Coffer Peach's tracker looking at the pub and restaurant growth shows that June monthly sales outside the M25 (which is what it calls the rest of the country) are up 5.5% compared to 3% inside the M25.
Coffer Peach released its Business Tracker today but have given EG the regional breakdown. It says that like for like sales growth is up 2.1% outside the M25 compared to a drop of 0.8% in London.
Now, before everyone gets carried away, the MAT (or moving annual target figure) is better in London than outside (2.4% versus 1.5% like for like sales growth compared to the previous 12 months).
Generally, Davis Coffer Lyons says that drink-led pubs saw a healthy rise in like-for-like sales while casual restaurant chains suffered a corresponding fall in June. Now, we know some of the regional occupier markets are really suffering, and we wouldn't want to say all you local agents had turned to drink, but it is a bit of a coincidence....
Well, well, well, it seems we have a bit of a local tiff on our hands.
Two week ago we reported that Cambridge's quarter two office figures were the worst for nearly a decade. Some don't agree with those figures and claim they have the definitive answer.
Lambert Smith Hampton sent us its quarter two figures today (seen for the first time here) and it reckons that quarter two take-up was broadly equal to quarter one at 106,252 sq ft keeping it on target to end this year just below the five year average of 460,500 sq ft. Deals such as Spicers signing for 23, 000 sq ft at Building 1000 on Cambridge Research Park have helped matters. If Mott MacDonald, which is closing in on 44,000 sq ft at Brookgate's CB1, actually sign that deal that could also help year end figures.
In addition it says that a further 175,000 sq ft is under offer.
That said while 27 deals signed - making the average deal size a fairly mean 4,000 sq ft, which is almost half last year's figure - this quarter's figure is down 30% on the same period last year. TMT occupiers continued to dominate transactions accounting for half of all deals signed.
It predicts take-up for 2012 will be 450,000 sq ft.
So, we hand it over to you now. Lambert Smith Hampton's figures are roughly double Carter Jonas*. Who do you think is right? click on the survey or leave a comment (anonymous or otherwise) below.
* UPDATED 18/7/12 12:00: Carter Jonas has been in touch to clarify its position. CJ says that is only reports deals that have actually completed rather than those under offer as it feels this gives a true representation of the market rather than a prediction of where it is. It says deals such as the Spicers deal has not yet completed (Cambridge Research Park's agents Bidwells has also confirmed this, saying the deal has exchanged but it expects the deal to complete in late September) so did not go into its Q2 figures.
We have, of course, put in a call to LSH to clarify its position and will update when we hear back.
**UPDATED 18/7 13:00: I have just got a statement from LSH in. Duncan Quig, associate director at the firm, who put the figures together says:
"My figures include completed deals only. Spicers deal has exchanged on an agreement for lease and this is the point of sale at which we record deals for take up purposes. We did so for the Microsoft deal which of course was an agreement for lease with the actual lease not yet commenced.
We have not included the Mott MacDonald pre-letting as this is clearly a deal which is in discussion an the only knowledge I have of this is market rumour in any case.
LSH undertake quarterly research to a very high standard and level of detail and I can be supremely confident in the accuracy of our figures.
I guess there will always be discrepancies between statistics due to differences in definitions, area of coverage and extent.
In my view 2003 was clearly the worst year for take up in the last decade when total take up for the entire year amounted to 223,000 sq ft. At the end of Q2 2012 we have recorded 202,000 sq ft. "
Mayday, Mayday Mayday. Has anyone packed a parachute? We might have known it was coming but it doesn't make it any easier when the numbers are sitting in front of you in stark black and white. It's now confirmed that Cambridge quarter two figures are the worst for nearly ten years.
Carter Jonas says office take up last quarter closed at 50,000 sq ft. The last time the city registered take up at that level was 2003.
Last year didn't help. A couple of bumper deals - namely Brookgate's Microsoft letting and Mills and Reeve taking Botanic House - really boosted levels and made the first three months of this year (which also registered a pretty much identical 50,000 sq ft) look particularly weak. The big deals have undoubtedly gone, and agents say the bulk of deals this quarter were all done in the sub 5,000 sq ft bracket.
But even taking out 2011's figures, the ten year average still manages around 350-375,000 sq ft, says CJ's partner Will Mooney.
Now you could go a bit number blind here but there are a couple of stark comparisons that are worth pulling out. Last year the total take up was 425,000 sq ft. Quarter one 2011 registered 152,000 sq ft. This year's figures are a third of this. If things stay on an even keel in Cambirdge the year end figure will be 200,000 sq ft.
Mooney seems to think if there are any gains to be made they won't be made until quarter four. Quarter three could be a slow or even non-starter because, the Olympics means that many London-based decision makers will be leaving the country. With those that control the purse strings abroad this will slow down the Cambridge market. Then the university holidays kick in and Cambridge city's town and gown will shut up shop.
That leaves three months to make up for a slack year and with Grade A supply chronically low agents could be in a tough spot. Ironically the number of requirements are up and there's even whispers of a prelet about to be signed, if these get converted then it could be slow float down to the ground. If they don't then it it all begins to look a bit scarier.
Dublin's office market is set for a slide this quarter. That's the latest forecast from CBRE this morning which said in its July bimonthly report that take-up in quarter two is likely to be less than the 34,000 sq m achieved in the same period last year.
The fact that the Irish office market is having a slippery ride might surprise few but bear in mind that figures for quarter two have held steady at around the 35,000 sq m level for a good couple of years - and it is has hardly been a bed of roses. If they're now struggling to even reach this level then something is broken, and it that something seems to be corporate confidence.
CBRE lists the usual culprits: heightened uncertainty about the prospects for the Eurozone and existing landlords offering enticing terms to keep occupiers put all mean those looking for space are postponing decisions.
Well known requirements from Twitter, Deutsche Bank and Capita are all still on the horizon. But even with these CBRE's estimates for the end of year will be 100,000 m2 against a ten year average of 160,000 sq m. It puts the blame squarely on the length of time it is taking for deals to sign in the current climate.
The positives are that refurbishment is showing some signs of making a comeback. Cash buyers seem to be showing a keen interest in empty or partially let buildings. The idea is because capital values have tumbled so far and spec development is, to put it nicely, unlikely, some want to have refurbished stock ready to go when the supply squeeze starts to take hold.
But in a show of how slow things have got CBRE says that there is traditionally a slowdown in activity in the Dublin office markets in July and August. However, it adds, it appears that activity will remain relatively consistent through the Summer.
CBRE's report looks at all sectors of the Ireland market. A full version is available here.