Strong start to year in central belt

Office lettings at highest since 2008 downturn

Connect110nsLevels of office take-up in parts of Glasgow and Edinburgh are the highest since the economic downturn in 2008, according to a commercial property consultancy.

Bilfinger GVA’s Big Nine report shows that first quarter city centre take up in Glasgow (288,987 sq ft) was more than double the five year quarterly average 143, 402 sq ft.

This figure was boosted by Morgan Stanley’s pre-let of 155,000 sq ft at HFD Property Group’s 122 Waterloo Street, the largest deal in the UK this quarter.

Alison Taylor, director and head of business space in Scotland for Bilfinger GVA, says that the deal also opens the doors for further city centre development.

“Now that construction has begun in Waterloo Street, there is potential to develop the adjacent 215,000 sq ft site at 177 Bothwell Street.  Demand is high in Glasgow for Grade A offices so any additional space is quickly snapped up.

“Accountancy body ACCA has taken the remaining 55,000 sq ft in BAM’s 110 Queen Street development while only two and a half of the 11 floors remain available at One West Regent Street.”

Enquiries for out-of-town space in Glasgow have also increased over the quarter with the 86,282 sq ft take-up just above the five year quarterly average of 85,699 sq ft.

Edinburgh has seen the UK’s largest out-of-town deal with Napier University’s 107,000 sq ft acquisition at South Gyle Business Park where demand continues to outstrip supply.

Peter Fraser, associate director at Bilfinger GVA, says: “At the moment there is a significant amount of unmet demand for business park space in the capital at a time when stock levels are relatively low.  In particular, there is now just over 50,000 sq ft available at Edinburgh Park, Scotland’s premier out-of-town business park. With the prospects of any new speculative office development unlikely, this will undoubtedly lead to rent rises in the out-of-town market.”

Edinburgh’s city centre also turned in an impressive first quarter with American audio chip producer Cirrus Logic letting 55,000 sq ft at Quartermile 4 to push take-up to 178,696 sq ft from the five year quarterly average figure of 155,712 sq ft.

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