Grade A office availability continues to decline says GVA

Grade A office availability in Birmingham has remained at the national average despite a number of other major cities continuing to see a decline.

The figures have come to light following the publication of the latest Big Nine Report from GVA, the UK’s largest independent commercial property advisor.

Published quarterly, the latest edition of the report also indicates that while a number of cities have seen an increase in smaller, secondary office take-up transactions, the largest Grade A deals are taking longer to mobilise.

The Big Nine reports that the regional city centre take-up levels were 10% below the quarterly average while Grade A availability continues to diminish across the cities. In 2009 Grade A space made up 28% of availability and has gradually declined, currently standing at 14%.

The nine GVA regional office centres recoded a combined city centre and out of town take-up of 1,520,000 sq ft in Q3, 4% below the quarterly average. The city centre market made up 60% of this total, with 903,000 sq ft of deals while the out of town market recorded take-up of 617,000s q ft, a 7% rise on the quarterly average.

City centre take-up was strongest in Leeds and just above or similar to average in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle and Edinburgh, but significantly below average in Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester.

Carl Potter, Director at GVA, said: “The continued decrease in Grade A accommodation is encouraging to some extent but will present a dilemma moving forward. The economics of new development in regional cities remains enormously challenging and will only come about with innovative financing arrangements.

“The heralded opportunity for high quality refurbishments to become a significant player in a 2-3 year cycle has now come and will pay dividends for those with the necessary skills to deliver.”