Birmingham leads the way for UK office space enquiries
Birmingham office space has seen off strong competition from other major UK cities for the first week of June, to top the leader board for the most office space enquiries. Out of 85 locations for the top spot (excluding London), the UK’s second city is out in front with a clear lead of almost 5%. The majority of requests were made for the city centre area – not counting a number of virtual office enquiries that have also been made for city centre locations.
Top 5 locations that received the most office space enquiries for the first week of June:
Despite being pushed into second position, Manchester is currently enjoying a confidence boost. As reported in our officebroker.com blog, a recent investigation by the Business Centre Association shows that demand for commercial property and office space in Manchester is strong compared with other UK cities. The acclaimed Media City development on the Salford Quays has encouraged a number of media companies to set up in the area, which has helped boost demand for the north-west. Read the full story in our blog post: Manchester office space gets a confidence boost.
Birmingham’s recent success is testament to the city’s ongoing ambition for excellence. Successful developments such as the Bullring have helped put our second city on the map, while stories continue to flood the commercial property headlines of new schemes and growth plans – in fact a recent report of a new development in historic Digbeth is just one of many.
Fiona Spruce, officebroker.com’s expert for Birmingham and the West Midlands, said: “The market is much more positive. We’re getting a lot of enquiries from clients who need to move into bigger office space, or who currently work from home and want to move into a physical office.”
She put part of Birmingham’s success down to its rate of redevelopment, vibrancy and its excellent transport links, as well as the city’s centrally based court network, which is a prime spot for solicitors.
Breaking down all of the enquiries received for the Birmingham postcode, the chart below shows Birmingham’s city centre has received the highest portion of enquiries in this remit, with 34%. Tamworth in Staffordshire is the next most popular with 10%, followed closely by Digbeth, Bromsgrove, Erdington, Handsworth and Edgbaston.
Graph showing breakdown of enquiries within the Birmingham postcode remit:
Based on our findings, clients are realizing the merits of being based outside of the Birmingham city centre. While popular locations such as Digbeth and Edgbaston are still fairly central, out of town areas such as Tamworth are proving their worth. There is the obvious benefit of cost-saving, as well as excellent transport options for meeting clients in the city centre. For instance, Tamworth has excellent access to the A5, M42 and M6, as well as rail links straight into the Birmingham city centre. In addition, there can often be more space available for business expansion – something that inner city locations can sometimes be too expensive or physically restricted for businesses to consider.
More good news for Birmingham has also been shown in the press recently. We reported in our officebroker.com blog about trends for Birmingham’s city centre, following a survey by property consultants Drivers Jonas of 100 Birmingham offices. The results show that almost 70% of businesses had been based in the city centre for ten years or more and a third for over 25 years. In addition, the vast majority of companies surveyed said they wanted to stay in the city centre.
Fiona Spruce explained that companies “still want to cut overheads” by moving offices or downsizing, but many wished to stay in the Birmingham city centre, or as close as possible.
Confirming Fiona’s support for the city, the survey also states that Birmingham’s central location, transport links and public transport facilities are said to be the city’s best assets, while a massive 84% of respondents reported that there was currently nothing missing from their city centre. You can read the blog post in full here: Birmingham office space survey shows positive results for the city.
Overall the Midlands appears to be showing strong resilience against our current economic situation. With Birmingham city centre leading the way for enquiries and smaller out of town areas moving up the popularity ladder, our research shows positive signs that the office space and commercial property market is booming. Many businesses value city centre locations and are keen to hold onto it, while others are looking to stay connected with the centre by setting up in well-linked areas.