Birmingham rivals central London as Recruitment firms’ most popular location
Unemployment, jobs and recruitment figures are high on the agenda in the current economy. Therefore officebroker.com was keen to identify the current serviced office space trends of recruitment agencies, and where they are looking to locate.
Based on UK enquiry figures over the third quarter of 2009 (July – September 2009 inclusive), officebroker.com found that out of all enquiries made by recruitment businesses during Q3, which includes 71 separate UK locations, the single most popular location with 9% of enquiries was the W postcode area of central London. The next most popular location (7.3%) was the WC postcode area of London.
Outside of London, Birmingham was the most popular office space location, with a total of 5.5% of recruitment firms’ enquiries.
The below chart shows the top five most popular locations for recruitment firms in 2009 Q3:
Percentages have been calculated based on total officebroker.com enquiries by recruitment firms in Q3. Each location has a percentage out of the total amount of enquiries. The above graph represents the top five.
Findings show that the W and WC postcode areas were the most popular for recruitment firms in Q3. However this has proved to be a recent turnaround for the regions, as prior officebroker.com statistics show that the most popular location for recruitment firms during the first two quarters in 2009 was the City of London.
Interestingly, in Q1 and Q2 the City’s popularity was almost paralleled by Birmingham. In contrast to current findings, the W and WC postcode areas of London – the two most popular in Q3 – trailed in third and fifth positions respectively.
Birmingham consistently proves to be a popular location for businesses seeking office space. Known as the UK’s second city, Birmingham frequently outperforms areas of central London to become one of the most popular locations for office space in the UK.
In fact, recent news has shown that the city is even attracting government staff from London as part of a wider government initiative to relocate departments out of London, partly due to cost-saving measures.
With Birmingham’s prime central location and excellent transport network, travelling between Birmingham and central London is both quick and easy. Furthermore, plans of a new high-speed rail link between the city and London is only adding to the appeal of the UK’s second city.
Popularity up as London workstation rates go down
Possible reasons for the recent surge in popularity of the W postcode area of London could be as a result of current workstation rates. Naturally, central London often appeals to firms from all sectors, as it forms the core of business in the UK and is home to many business organisations from the UK and abroad.
officebroker.com figures show that the cost per workstation of a serviced office in central London is currently down year on year, which could be encouraging more businesses to make enquiries with the aim of securing quality offices at reduced rates.
In Q1 2009, workstations rates for central London were an average of ┬ú418, compared with 2008’s ┬ú542, which represents a drop in Q1 2009 of 23%. In Q2 2009, the drop widened further to 28%, as the average rental value in Q2 2008 dropped from ┬ú660 to ┬ú475 in Q2 2009.
W postcode locations such as Mayfair and Soho boast a quality selection of prime serviced office space with an excellent location in the centre of London. Therefore, with significant savings to be made on serviced offices in the area, businesses are potentially more likely to be enquiring about office space in this area while the opportunity is available.
Also potentially fueling the current businesses opportunities is continued media coverage that we are in a ‘tenants market’, where firms seeking office space are in an elevated position of advantage and are using the decline to their own gain.
Examples of this are lower rents and increased incentives by landlords and office providers, which is encouraging businesses to sign up for new space, and is also helping to boost the serviced office space market.
While continued exposure to greater discounts and reduced rates such as this could be potentially damaging to landlords, the flip side of this is that businesses seeking office space in London, such as recruitment firms, have the opportunity to expand into new areas at a significantly reduced rate.
For an in-depth report of the central London office space market in Q1 and Q2, view our online report and download our PDF for free here: Office Space Market Trading & Activity – Central London Q1 & Q2.
For more details relating to serviced office space in central London, Birmingham or other parts of the UK, search online at officebroker.com or contact one of our regional consultants for free expert advice.