Office Predictions Revisited: How is 2014 Shaping Up So Far?
At the end of 2013, we approached fourteen industry experts and asked them for their predictions for the serviced office industry in the year ahead. Now that weΓÇÖre almost three-quarters of the way through 2014, we thought it was time to revisit those predictions and see how theyΓÇÖre shaping up so far.
Targetspace MD Stephen Finnegan wasnΓÇÖt wrong when he predicted that ΓÇ£plenty of choiceΓÇ¥ would characterise the flexible workspace market in 2014. WeΓÇÖve already seen new business centres launching in a wide variety of locations and catering for everything from high-end designer space to functional startup offices.
However, so far 2014 has also seen an increased demand for serviced office space in many key locations. Central London, Manchester and Edinburgh have all seen a significant increase in serviced office enquiry levels.┬á New serviced office tenant levels have also increased for these cities. Overall, this has meant increased competition for offices.
In pointing to growth and diversification as key industry trends for 2014, BCA Executive Director Jennifer Brooke was spot on. Many of the larger serviced office providers ΓÇô Regus, The Office Group, Clarendon, i2, LEO and Landmark Plc to name but a few ΓÇô have already revealed plans to expand their offering this year.
Meanwhile, weΓÇÖve also seen a number of providers choosing to launch or expand hot-desking provisions within their centres. Others have chosen to diversify by launching outside their traditional location, with one London-based provider opting to launch in Leeds and another regional provider heading to Central London with their latest centre.
EOGΓÇÖs decision to rebrand as LEO too is significant as it reflects a growing trend among providers to further emphasise how their product is differentiated from the serviced office market as a whole. This is helping to emphasise the existing diversity across the sector.
Along with several of our other experts, officebroker CEO Chris Meredith expressed his confidence in the London office market. However, Chris went beyond this to predict that we would see new business centres opening in areas which have long been dominated by a lack of product.
And heΓÇÖs already been proven right, with new centre launches scheduled for Paddington, Knightsbridge, Kensington, Marble Arch and Fulham so far.
Chris was similarly optimistic for the regional major cities, highlighting Manchester and Birmingham as likely to perform well. Recent officebroker data for Manchester reveals that the city has seen a 63% increase in serviced office enquiry levels so far in 2014, and a 53% increase in new serviced office tenants.
So far the other regional success story for 2014 is Edinburgh. The city has seen a 30% increase in serviced office enquiry levels and a 20% increase in new serviced office tenants.
Among the many providers making expansion plans in 2014, one value seems to stand out ΓÇô a commitment to quality. Whether it be outstanding customer service, premium fit-out or a prestigious location, brands defined by these qualities are seeing solid occupancy levels and seizing the opportunity to open business centres in new locations.
You can read the rest of the Office Predictions here. Did our other experts get their predictions spot on?