Best first quarter in five years for M42 and Solihull office market

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The M42 and Solihull office market enjoyed its most successful first quarter of the year since 2013, with more than 91,000 sq ft of office space transacted, demonstrating its robustness and ability to attract a diverse range of occupiers, according to Birmingham commercial property agents, KWB.

Mark Robinson, Director in KWB’s office agency team, said: “In Q1, the 2018 market has already achieved over a third of last year’s total of 269,498 sq ft. Should the market replicate this across all four quarters, it will secure over 100,000 sq ft more in transactions than last year, an increase of 35%,” writing in KWB’s Q1 2018 M42 and Solihull office market research.

Mark continued: “As in Birmingham city centre, many of the transactions in Solihull and the M42 corridor were lease event-driven, with companies acquiring better quality, and more efficient office space,”

“Again as in Birmingham city centre, the Solihull and M42 office market achieved four office space transactions over 10,000 sq ft. This was an excellent achievement for the market, which only achieved nine deals over 10,000 sq ft for the whole of last year.”

Dominion Court, Solihull office market

Dominion Court, Solihull town centre

The largest deals were the letting of 25,200 sq ft to skincare company Beiersdorf UK, which moved due to a lease event, and the sale of 23,750 sq ft at Zenith House (pictured right) to serviced office provider Bizspace.

Mark Robinson said: “Birmingham city centre responded throughout 2017 to the trending demand for serviced offices but, until now, the Solihull office market has been a little slow to match this.

“Solihull’s serviced office offering now includes Zenith House, and we would expect to see further acquisitions by serviced office operators – should the right space be available.”

Other 10,000+ sq ft deals saw the continued prospering of companies in the IT/TMT sector, with the significant expansions of Blue Systems and Wavenet, both relocating within the area to larger premises.

A lack of any mid-market deals – 5,000 to 10,000 sq ft – highlights a significant gap within the market, according to Mark Robinson: “The reasons seem to be much the same as those of Birmingham city centre in the 5,000-15,000 sq ft bracket – lack of supply and discerning occupiers.

“The future for the market for offices in Solihull appears robust and reliable, but it is unlikely to deliver quarters substantially greater than this, although we are aware of larger lease events on the horizon, which may result in some headline transactions before the year is out.

“Solihull occupiers are now embracing the idea of ‘agile working’, meaning that not all the staff are in the office all the time, or at the same time.  However, whether this will begin to impact on property decisions such as expansion, is a developing story.”

Each quarter, KWB publishes research into the Solihull office market, listing all the office transactions and providing its view of the current and future market. KWB’s complete Q1 research for Solihull can be found here, and for the full list of transactions click here.

For more information on the M42 and Solihull office market, contact Mark Robinson on 0121 233 2330 or email