Office space Birmingham city centre – quarter 1 2013 take-up

Quarter 1 2013 transactions for office space in Birmingham city centre signified a relatively slow start to a year that will gather momentum as predicted office lease breaks and lease expiries are exercised later in the year.

Birmingham office space transactions were in line with the trend for other first quarters over the last couple of years, which have historically been the lowest quarter of the year. The number of transactions was on a par but the size of the transactions was lacking. The largest letting was only 11,500 sq ft – larger transactions were achieved in out-of-town locations, like Solihull and the M42 corridor, than in Birmingham city centre. Nevertheless, Q1 2013 at c. 113,000 sq ft was more than double the square footage achieved in Q1 2012 (c. 54,000 sq ft), and slightly higher than that of 2011 (c. 101,000 sq ft).

Demand for office space in Birmingham city centre core is increasing

Whilst, historically, we have seen a high proportion of take-up for office space in Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, not necessarily in square feet but certainly in the number of office space transactions, this was somewhat diluted this quarter. On a positive note, the number of transactions for office space in Birmingham city centre core, has increased, representing 77% of all transactions, which is encouraging going forward. Birmingham city centre core, in terms of viewings and on-going discussions, has become increasingly busy.

Notable increase in Birmingham office space transactions expected

Whilst take-up for office space in Birmingham city centre is relatively subdued at this stage, we expect a notable increase towards the middle to end of this year due to the number of office lease breaks and lease expiries scheduled, as previously mentioned in these reviews. We would echo sentiment made by other office agents and most notably at the recent Birmingham Office Market Forum (BOMF) annual networking breakfast, that if the enquiries currently in the marketplace conclude later this year and those occupiers with lease events due within 12 months initiate a search, there will be a significant turnaround in the supply dynamics which will leave a severe shortage of prime stock.

Edgbaston office space looks to the future

Office space in Edgbaston remains a difficult market with only 8,900 sq ft transacted in 4 deals representing 7.8% of total take-up. This may change later this year with the recent issuing of a substantial requirement that is looking to take space later this year.

See full details of the transactions for office space in Birmingham city centre and Edgbaston.