Activity levels in Birmingham office market speaks volumes, says CBRE

Theo Holmes, director in CBRE’s Birmingham office agency team

Despite a relatively low volume of deals in Q3 2016, underlying demand for office space in Birmingham city centre is still strong, according to property consultancy CBRE.

Theo Holmes, a director in the firm’s Birmingham office agency team, said the comparatively low level of take-up during the quarter needs to be viewed alongside good transaction numbers for a more measured picture of the market.

Figures released by BOMF (Birmingham Office Market Forum) reveal take-up in quarter three 2016 in the central Birmingham office market totalled 95,546 sq ft.

When added to the deals in the first half of the year, the year to date totals 595,338 sq ft.

BOMF said that whilst the Q3 take-up figures are in isolation below average, Birmingham has experienced equivalent factors impacting most of the regional office markets, namely the uncertainty seen in the run up to Brexit and fewer lease events by virtue of the quieter leasing activity experienced five years ago.

But although the take-up figures are down, the transaction numbers are consistent with previous quarters. There were 35 transactions in Q3, one more than the quarterly average of 34 achieved since Q4 2012 and two more than the 33 achieved in Q3 2015. Furthermore, there have been eight other quarters with lower transactional volumes since Q4 2012.

“These volume figures clearly indicate that there has been no drop off in interest levels in the Birmingham office market,” said Holmes.

“Those of us working in the commercial property market in the city know that there are a number of large requirements out there from a wide range of sectors, including active HS2-related enquiries awaiting Royal ascent in December and continued regional focus for government relocations from Whitehall.

“None of the fundamentals of the Birmingham office market have changed and 2016 as a whole will still be a terrific year for the city.”