Positive outlook for Solihull and M42 office market despite stock shortage

KWB’s latest commercial property research shows that the outlook for the M42 office market is positive. However, Solihull office availability – particularly of good quality stock – is forcing occupiers to look elsewhere, as demand remains high. This presents excellent opportunities, firstly, for landlords to refurbish and, secondly, for occupiers to sublet unused space.

In the Q1 research for the Solihull office market, Malcolm Jones, Director of Office Agency, said: “The issue is currently so acute that when an occupier vacates space or moves into smaller offices, they are freeing up a new, rare opportunity for another occupier to take space.

Aerial shot of Blythe Valley Park's Solihull offices and the M42
Blythe Valley Park, Solihull and the M42

“Most space that does become available, however, tends to be at the smaller end of the market. Occupiers of larger space around the M42 will do their utmost to hold onto their existing offices, as most would struggle to find a suitable or preferable alternative nearby.

“In this way, out-of-town supply is not being released in accordance with demand. Indeed, there are currently quite a few requirements in the marketplace for 10,000-15,000 sq ft. Unfortunately, current Solihull office availability will struggle to fulfil these.

“If an occupier cannot find the M42 office space they need, what will they do? Ultimately, they will need to consider other areas – such as Coventry or business parks in Warwickshire, for example.”

A good quarter

The office market research states that office take-up along the M42 was 85,183 sq ft across 11 transactions. This was a vast improvement on the 20,326 sq ft secured in the same period in 2021.

3010 and 3020 The Crescent, Birmingham Business Park - no longer contributing to Solihull office availability following its landmark letting
3010 and 3020 The Crescent, Birmingham Business Park

Topping the market, was a landmark transaction of 37,509 sq ft to an unnamed government department, in the largest letting on Birmingham Business Park for over two decades. This letting was secured across two buildings, 3010 and 3020 The Crescent, some of the last remaining stock on the park.

The second largest letting of the quarter was to Birmingham-based restaurant group, Boparan – responsible for brands such as Ed’s Diner, Café Carluccio’s and Giraffe. Boparan took 8,685 sq ft at Trinity Park to establish a training centre, vital for its continued growth.

External and car park of Building 300 Trinity Park which restaurant group Boparan has chosen for its Solihull offices
Building 300 Trinity Park, Solihull

Key transactions

Other notable deals in the Solihull office market for Q1 2022 included:

  • Align Technology: Orthodontic manufacturer took 8,401 sq ft at 2800 The Crescent at Birmingham Business Park.
  • ArcelorMittal: Steel producer took 7,060 sq ft at Friars Gate, Solihull.
  • Clay Knox: Accountancy firm doubled space with an extra 5,925 sq ft at St Johns House, Bromsgrove.

Low Solihull office availability – an opportunity

Malcolm continued: “The outlook for the office market is positive, despite low availability of Solihull offices, which continues to hold back the market. In this environment, rents for high quality stock are increasing. This should entice some landlords to refurbish their office stock, as it will help them to secure lettings.

“Additionally, Solihull office occupiers with unutilised office space can also benefit – through sublets, for example – and should consider such options.

“I would encourage both of these groups to get in touch, to discuss their options.”

KWB is one of the most active office agents in the Solihull and M42 corridor. For the full version of the M42 and Solihull office market research – Q1 2022, click here.

For enquiries on Solihull office availability or to discuss your requirements, please contact Malcolm Jones at mjones@kwboffice.com or call 07825 848425.