Smaller offices continue to dominate Birmingham lettings

Guildhall Buildings, Navigation Street, Birmingham, opposite the main entrance to New Street station.

Smaller offices once again formed the majority of transactions in Birmingham city centre and Edgbaston in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017, showing that small businesses remain highly active in the city, according to a leading West Midlands office agent.

Malcolm Jones, a senior member of the office agency team at Birmingham independent commercial property agency KWB, says that lettings and sales of offices of less than 3,000 sq ft continued to be most numerous in the Birmingham office market, with 15 transactions of the 27 recorded (55%) in Q2 2017.

“Enquiries and lettings remain high for office sizes from 350 sq ft to around 3,000 sq ft, and more developments have come onto the market in the past few months specifically to help satisfy this demand,” says Mr Jones.

“We are seeing organisations which have grown and matured in serviced office accommodation, taking lets on small office suites which are cheaper in the longer term, and which they can make their own.

“Although it is a longer commitment than the easy in, easy out terms offered by serviced offices, rents on offices suite can be around half as much as serviced offices,” continues Mr Jones.

“With their own front door, occupiers also have the opportunity to brand the exterior, fit-out the interior to match their corporate culture, and demonstrate a much more permanent presence to customers and staff alike.”

Recently refurbished offices such as Guildhall Buildings on Navigation Street, opposite the main entrance to New Street station have launched in the last quarter, joining developments like Cheltenham House in specifically catering for this market sector.

Guildhall Buildings secured two new occupiers in Q2, letting 2,713 sq ft to SLC Rail and 721 sq ft to My Show Home.

“The consistently high level of these smaller transactions for office space in Birmingham city centre, quarter by quarter, (58% in Q1 of 2017) affirms that small businesses are prospering.  When you consider that many of these smaller lettings have been to companies in the recruitment and financial sectors, it tells a positive story of the city-wide economy,” concludes Mr Jones.

KWB is the letting agent for Guildhall Buildings, Cheltenham House and a number of smaller office suites in Birmingham city centre, the Jewellery Quarter and Edgbaston.