Regional office take-up slides post-Brexit

5 November 2016 – by Sheka Vyas

Office take-up in UK cities in the quarter declined sharply after the European Union referendum, according to EGi Offices Research.

Office

Third-quarter take-up was down by 24% from the second quarter and at the lowest level since EGi started recording the data in 2010.

Research across six cities in the UK – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Birmingham – shows that take-up was a third down on the five-year quarterly average.

It is also the first time take-up has stood at just 4m sq ft since 2013.

Graham Shone, senior analyst at EGi, said: “Four out of the six cities have seen a tightening of availability rate despite a quiet quarter. This suggests the supply side is mirroring the demand side in showing caution post-referendum.

“We might start to see that constraint loosening next year once the picture of the UK’s EU divorce terms become clearer, and if businesses seek to cut their tax bill by moving to the regions from central London.”

Birmingham had the biggest quarter-on-quarter change, with office take-up down by 63% to 108,000 sq ft.

Uncertainty over a second independence referendum in Scotland, coupled with political instability caused by Brexit, prompted a drop in occupational activity in Edinburgh during Q3 to 58,000 sq ft from 150,000 sq ft in Q2 and in Glasgow to 120,000 sq ft from 157,000 sq ft in Q3.

Grade A availability of stock has also shown a decline, with 7.1m sq ft available in the six cities, compared with 7.3m sq ft in the same quarter last year, and 5.8m sq ft of secondhand space, compared with 6.3m sq ft in Q3 2015.

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