Office take-up rebounds in Aberdeen after subdued start to 2023

Aberdeen’s office market has turned a corner following a subdued start to the year as more businesses signal their commitment to the city, according to analysis from Knight Frank.

The independent commercial property consultancy found that during the third quarter of 2023, there was 141,789 sq. ft. of office space taken up – already ahead of the 116,642 sq. ft. leased during the first half of the year. The office market is also faring well compared to 2022, with figures for July to September sitting 196% ahead of the same period last year.

The majority of the deals agreed in the last quarter involved companies in the energy and utilities market, with their commitment to the Granite City underpinned by the sustained higher oil price. Well services company, Odfjell Technology, took 19,164 sq. ft. of space at Prime Four business park, meanwhile, energy infrastructure specialist Kellas Midstream leased 10,149 sq. ft. at The Capitol on Union Street.

The city’s west end continues to be a favourable location and has so far seen the most activity in 2023, with 43% of office deals involving west-end properties. Knight Frank said the area’s popularity was due in part to a range of recent refurbishment and investment initiatives, bringing traditional listed buildings in line with modern occupiers’ requirements. New features include revamped common areas as well as improved energy efficiency measures.

Matthew Park, partner at Knight Frank Aberdeen, said: “It is encouraging to see an uptick in office activity following on from a reasonably quiet start to the year. With a flurry of deals completed this quarter, we are cautiously optimistic that the market is back on track for a strong end to 2023.

“The sustained high oil price is undoubtedly giving the city a boost, with more companies committing to high-quality office space across Aberdeen. The flight to quality remains high on the agenda for any businesses considering new space and it is great to see the results of landlords’ hard work and investment in the west end beginning to attract new occupiers.”