Cardiff office market sees steady improvement

The Cardiff office occupier market has performed particularly well in 2011 compared to other regional centres, according to a new report by independent commercial property adviser GVA.

The Big Nine report shows Cardiff recording one of the largest deals this quarter at Fusion Point, where 118 Ltd has taken 35,000 sq ft. The city has recorded a total of 168,074 sq ft this quarter.

The regional centres included in the report are Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Liverpool. The nine cities together recorded the highest quarterly take-up so far this year. City and out-of-town take-up totalled 1,940,000 sq ft in Q3, 22% above the quarterly average.

The Big Nine, a quarterly review of the market indicates slow but continued growth in 2011 overall, yet points to a potentially more challenging 2012.

Ben O’Connor, regional head of office agency at GVA’s Cardiff office, says,

“Cardiff city centre, along with Birmingham, has been performing particularly well over the past quarter. With lettings to companies such as Admiral at Brunel House, 118 Ltd at Fusion Point, and 20,000 sq ft to Inexus at Driscoll 2, the city is demonstrating its strength, particularly in the call centre, and professional services sectors.

“Occupiers benefit from excellent buildings, as well as a strong workforce in the city.”

Cardiff has let 570,609 sq ft of office space in the first three quarters of 2011, compared to Bristol, where just 311,095 sq ft has been recorded in the same period.

Ben O’Connor continues, “Throughout the UK, the deals in the pipeline for the rest of the year will guarantee a solid year’s activity, although renewed economic uncertainty and patchy long term enquiries indicate a tough year ahead.”

While headline rents and incentives have remained static this year, the shortfall in new supply has seen some deals becoming more competitive. Conversely, the glut of secondary property is causing average rents to weaken.