Birmingham office market breaks 10-year average with growth set to continue

Malcolm Jones, Director of Office Agency at KWB.

Birmingham’s office take-up at the start of the year beat the 10-year average and the market will continue to grow, says city-based commercial property agents KWB.

KWB’s newly-released Birmingham Office Market Research – Q1 2022 shows office take-up reached 175,261 sq ft across 32 deals, compared with the 10-year average of 167,000 sq ft and just 49,837 sq ft in the same period last year. The positive start to 2022 is even more significant due to the lack of a landmark transaction which often dominates the figures.

The largest letting of the quarter was to the government’s Office of the Public Guardian, which took 27,132 sq ft at Victoria Square House, bringing its total space in the building to 37,284 sq ft. This was followed by serviced office operator Cubo securing the entire fourth floor of Two Chamberlan Square, totalling 24,000 sq ft.

Offices were also snapped up at other city landmark developments by major occupiers looking to benefit from prime location and high-quality, ESG-compliant workspaces. At Colmore 103, global insurance and risk management firm Gallaghers took the whole of the 13th floor and legal firm Browne Jacobson signed up to the 15th floor. At 55 Colmore Row, global banking firm Goldman Sachs took 7,090 sq ft within the WeWork flexible space.

The research also shows trends of legal businesses and educational institutions taking space. Expansions are also a popular theme, indicating a healthy and prosperous economy in the city.

KWB creates its quarterly market updates using data from the Birmingham Office Market Forum and its own analysis, local knowledge and evidence.

Malcolm Jones, director of office agency at KWB, said: “The future of the city is bright, with enquiry levels for space across the Birmingham office market increasing. With this in mind, and the number of negotiations for office space already underway, there is a very promising outlook for the market’s year-end. Growth will continue and the number of deals will increase, as we see more of the ‘bread and butter’ requirements returning to the market.

“Furthermore, there are some exciting transactions we can expect to see in the figures, such as the already announced letting of space at Two Chamberlain Square to investment firm, Cazenove Capital.

“The flight to quality very much continues and the demand for the very best space is pushing up headline rents. In general, occupiers are not looking to cut costs. Businesses are looking to make their proposition to existing and prospective employees as appealing as possible, with both retaining and attracting skilled staff being of paramount importance.”