Edinburgh’s Strong 2nd Quarter

Recent research by CBRE Scotland has pointed to a strong second quarter for Edinburgh’s office market, after a slow start to the year. Figures show a Q2 take-up of 351,916 sq ft of take-up – a 150% increase in take-up from Q1 2018, bringing office take-up in the first half of 2018 in Edinburgh to just under half a million sq ft (491,885 sq ft).

The recently announced pre-let to asset management firm Baillie Gifford taking over 60,000 sq ft at the newly developed Mint Building in St Andrew Square was possibly the stand out deal of the quarter, followed by other large lettings including 43,801 sq ft at 11-12 Lochside Place to Diageo and 14,832 sq ft at Atria One to EDP Renewables. The largest deal of the quarter was Edinburgh Palette (a workspace facility) occupying 109,153 sq ft of space at 525 Ferry Road, albeit on a short-term lease.

Metropolis is tracking around 40 occupiers searching for office space in Edinburgh. In general, tenant demand is considered to be buoyant, with a number of existing occupiers approaching lease expiries and seeking to relocate.

Meanwhile in the mid size range: The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) took 16,568 sq ft of out of town space at Bridgeside House, a Smart development at MacDonald Road, while Instant Offices, the serviced office provider, took 2,230 sq m (24,000 sq ft) of offices at the Cornerstone Building in South Gyle.

Total Edinburgh office supply remains at a low level at 923,540 sq ft, with 225,231 sq ft for city centre Grade A space. This represents a 30% decrease on the available space from the same period in 2017. The next scheme to complete is 2 Semple Street in Edinburgh city centre, which is due to be ready for occupation at the end of July 2018,  providing 38,648 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation across six floors.

CBRE say that there continues to be a number of larger, unsatisfied requirements for Edinburgh city centre.

Metropolis Q1 Research Update – Over 500 Office Requirements


Active Office Requirements

In Q1 2016, Metropolis researched over 500 companies actively searching for office space in the UK. Total office demand identified in Q1 hit 9.4m sq ft.


The top 5 sectors by UK office demand were:

Banking & Finance – 1.4m sq ft

Media – 1.1m sq ft

Technology & Telecoms – 0.8m sq ft

Government – 0.7m sq ft

Insurance – 0.5m sq ft


The top 5 UK Cities by office demand were:

London – 4.3m sq ft

Manchester – 0.6m sq ft

Leeds – 0.5m sq ft

Bristol – 0.4m sq ft

Glasgow – 0.3m sq ft


Potential Office Demand

Just over 5m sq ft of potential office demand, classified on the Metropolis database system as “Potential Mover” leads, was researched in Q1 2016. About 2.5m sq ft of this potential demand is attributed to office occupier lease expiry, which breaks down by year as follows:

2016 – 0.6m sq ft of office leases to expire

2017 – 1.2m sq ft of office leases to expire

2018 – 0.7m sq ft of office leases to expire


We could see about 200,000 sq ft of the potential demand from lease ends researched in Q1 2016 convert to active searches for office space this year, with several 20,000 sq ft + office requirements expected to surface from Media and Insurance companies in the next few months. One or two major requirements also look likely to trigger in the next few months from the 1.2m sq ft of 2017 leases due to expire, including a possible 80,000 sq ft West of London/Thames Valley requirement from a major Technology company.


The Metropolis database system holds all of the above data and thousands of other leads – for details on accessing the leads and joining Metropolis please email simon@metroinfo.co.uk or call us on 01296 631 186.