Thames Valley Demand Up

A recent report from JLL concluded that while office demand in the Thames Valley has increased by 60% during 2014; the volume of actual office deals completed has remained subdued, suggesting that there is likely to be a surge of deals in late 2014 and early 2015.

While some 3m sq ft of office space was let in 2013, only a modest 800,000 sq ft has been let so far in the first three quarters of 2014. Only one deal over 50,000 sq ft was signed VM Ware’s acquisition in Staines (62,000 sq ft). Other major deals included Avnet moving to The Capitol Building, Bracknell (42,500 sq ft), Pernod Ricard taking space at 12 Chiswick Park (42,000 sq ft) and UK TV’s relocation 10 Hammersmith Grove (32,500 sq ft).

JLL say that with over 60% of current requirements in the area coming from US companies, that there is a trend for real estate decisions by US companies to be taken at the end of the year, suggesting a clutch of deals to come. JLL is now forecasting nearly 2m sq ft of office deals in the Thames Valley in the final quarter of the year. Metropolis’ own database of Thames Valley searches reveals about 50 outstanding, including 40 new ones added this year.

There is some 4.8m sq ft of identified office demand in the Thames Valley including large companies searching such as Pepsi, Boden, Ocado and Amadeus. There is also a solid batch of mid size requirements driven by forthcoming lease expiries and expansion plans.

Hammersmith, Chiswick and Bracknell are currently the most popular areas for office deals so far in 2014, under JLL’s definition of Thames Valley. There is around 1.6m sq ft of new office space under construction in the wider area Western corridor area. The area is due to deliver schemes in Chiswick, Slough and Reading, where four schemes are due to deliver nearly 400,000 sq ft, which could prompt some high profile moves to the town.

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