Office occupancy levels in the UK’s largest cities remain low but a year-on-year data comparison undertaken by a Worcestershire commercial property agency reveals that national trends are not representative of activity at regional level.
Pre-pandemic, Worcestershire’s office market was thriving and was experiencing a 10% annual rental growth in comparison to average zero growth across the country. While there have obviously been shifts in market demand, the picture for the office market is not as bleak as some of the national media suggest according to Andrew Lewis, GJS Dillon’s Associate Director.
‘There’s no doubt that business owners are re-evaluating their strategy when it comes to office space’ says Andrew ‘but quality accommodation is still letting. Primary examples are Wildwood Triangle and the Royal Worcester Porcelain Works. Both offer accommodation of a very high standard within easy access of national motorway and public transport networks.’
Andrew’s optimism about the office market is substantiated by a year-on-year comparison of GJS Dillon’s data from 1st August to 31st October this year and last year. Office market transactions doubled and viewings almost trebled in the equivalent period.
Andrew believes that there are several reasons for occupiers moving into Worcestershire:
‘We’re seeing a number of European companies seeking a base here because they need a UK location post-Brexit. Care companies are seeking additional space for training and a lot of businesses are moving out of Birmingham and downsizing.’
‘Thanks to its central location, access to the rest of the UK with its excellent transport links and attractive setting, Worcestershire has been incredibly successful in meeting the demands of office occupiers. We believe that trend can continue, provided new office space comes onto the market within the next 12 months and there is some certainty in the final Brexit agreement’