BirminghamΓÇÖs Office Market ΓÇô Success Story or Struggling?
Some say itΓÇÖs struggling, others are reporting growth. One thing is for certain; opinion is divided over BirminghamΓÇÖs office market.
Among those expressing concern about the performance of BirminghamΓÇÖs office market is Birmingham Office Market Forum. They report that during the first quarter of 2013, office space take up in the city totalled 113,326 sq. ft. If this were to continue throughout the year, they predict that total take up for the year would be 550,000 sq. ft. ΓÇô only a marginal increase on the 500,955 sq. ft. let in 2012, which is the lowest figure on record for office take up.
A different picture is formed by the latest data from Officebroker, which reveals an 18% increase in serviced office take up in the first two months of 2013, compared with the same period in 2012. Furthermore, due to increased demand, the price per desk also increased from an average of ┬ú210 per month to ┬ú242. This rate is higher than the national average of ┬ú219 (Excluding Central London)recorded in this same period, indicating that compared with the rest of the UKΓÇÖs serviced office market, Birmingham is performing well.
The growth in this growing sector of the commercial property market is indicative of changing attitudes to office space in the face of economic uncertainty. While many companies may be reluctant to commit to office space on a five- or ten-year lease, the licence agreements available in serviced offices provides a comparatively low-risk way for them to establish or maintain a base in the city.
While historically popular with startups and small businesses, officebrokerΓÇÖs latest data also reveals that larger businesses are turning to serviced office space.
Overall, the picture suggested is one of cautious optimism; businesses arenΓÇÖt turning away from Birmingham as a business location, but they are re-evaluating their approach to office space.
After all, with its Big City Plan under way, Birmingham is already being seen by many as an up and coming location. Just last month, online fashion giant ASOS announced their move to the city , explaining that they are keen to ΓÇ£get in earlyΓÇ¥ on the cityΓÇÖs burgeoning tech scene.
With high profile companies expressing optimism for the cityΓÇÖs future, it seems likely that the outlook for BirminghamΓÇÖs office market is more bright than bleak.
Is the future bright for the Birmingham office market? Tell us in the comments below.