Metropolis Office Movers October 2017

Metropolis ran 548 business leads on ‘office movers’ in the month of October 2017. If all reported moves were added together the total would exceed 8 million sq ft of office searches and transactions, researched by Metropolis’ unique market led intelligence research team. London was the largest region with 251 leads during month, but there were also strong showings from the South East (60), North West (40) and Scotland (36). IT services, professional and financial were the largest business sectors planning relocations or agreeing moves during the month.

The business leads covered the whole UK and provided details of the size of the office occupier, its likely move dates, a description of the reasons for the move, its business sector and full contact details including an address for written inquiries, at least one telephone number and in most cases an email address. Some of the largest planned moves and top picks amongst the 548 October leads, included those on Dentsu Aegis, Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, WeWork, Royal London Insurance and Dyson.

The October 2017 leads included 165 ‘identified requirements’. Which means that the company confirmed to researchers that it has current or future plans to search for alternative office space. Of these 165 searches, 100 were new office searches, not previously notified to clients.

The most recent research also included 150 ‘potential movers’ which were mainly longer-term leads on occupiers, considering a relocation, but the occupier has yet to make a final decision on whether to search.

Most of the remaining stories covered companies that have signed for new office space and have set a move date, including some large pre-lets and companies inviting tenders for fit-out contracts. The shortest planned move date is just over a month away, whilst the longest was late 2020.

Recent research by Metropolis concluded that a conservative estimate of ‘live’ business opportunities on the database in recent months exceeded £1bn of business.

If you would like some information on flexible Metropolis subscription packages, then please email Simon at simon@metroinfo.co.uk

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Cityoffices.net, the sister property leads service to Metropolis, is about to publish its ‘Autumn 2017’ survey on the office construction market in central London, with details of new schemes starting, the dozens of schemes at preparation stage and 200 office schemes in the pipeline for construction starts in 2017-2020.

For more information on Cityoffices, email Andy at andy@metroinfo.co.uk

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Top June picks on Metropolis

Metropolis ran 650 ‘movers‘ in the month of June 2017. If all reported moves were added together the total would exceed 17 million sq ft of office searches and transactions, researched by Metropolis’ unique market led intelligence research team. London was the largest region with 295 leads during month, but there were also strong showings from the Yorkshire (77), South East (57) and North West (44). IT services and financial were the two largest business sectors planning relocations or agreeing moves during the month.

The business leads covered the whole UK and provided details of the size of the office occupier, its likely move dates, a description of the reasons for the move, its business sector and full contact details including an address for written inquiries, at least one telephone number and in most cases an email address. Some of the largest planned moves and top picks amongst the 650 leads included leads were those on Google, Global Switch, Dentsu Aegis and WeWork.

The June 2017 leads included 196 ‘identified requirements’. Which means that the company confirmed to researchers that it has current or future plans to search for alternative office space. Of these 196 searches, 100 were new office searches, not previously notified.

The most recent research also included 200 ‘potential movers’ which were mainly longer-term leads on occupiers which are considering a relocation, but have yet to make a final decision on whether to search.

Most of the remaining stories covered companies that have signed for new office space and have set a move date, including some large pre-lets and companies inviting tenders for fit-out contracts. The shortest planned move date is just over a month away, whilst the longest was mid 2020.

If you would like some information on flexible Metropolis subscription packages, then please email Simon at simon@metroinfo.co.uk

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Cityoffices.net, the sister property leads service to Metropolis, saw a further 32 stories posted in June, covering new development opportunities planning applications, consents, construction starts and development teams in London and major cities. The database now covers over 200 office schemes in the pipeline for construction starts in 2017-2020.

For more information on Cityoffices, email Andy at andy@metroinfo.co.uk

Thames Valley gives mixed signals

A new report from Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) on the Thames Valley office market reveals a mixture of trends.  LSH report 126 enquiries (over 5,000 sq ft) in Q1 2017, an increase of 31% compared with the 96 received in the previous quarter, however these are mainly made up of smaller enquiries and LSH say that requirements for units of over 30,000 sq ft are running well below the long term average.

Take-up in Q1 2017 was 425,352 sq ft, a fall of 3 % from the 439,331 sq ft transacted in the previous quarter and 18.6% below Q1 2016’s total of 522,770 sq ft. The total is below the five-year average take-up of 482,169 sq ft and given the drop in large enquiries, take-up may suffer in upcoming quarters. Large deals included: MediaWorks, White City – 70,000 sq ft acquired by Net-a-Porter and Tor, Maidenhead – 40,000 sq ft letting to Rank Group.  Moves underway include Body Shop, Maersk, Macquarie Bank and EDF Energy.

The active sectors in Q1 2017 were professional (31%), technology, media and communications (25%) and pharmaceuticals (14%).  LSH say that 74% of all office take up in Q1 2017 was centred on just five of the 14 centres – Blackwater Valley, Bracknell, Maidenhead, Oxford and Reading. Reading continues to attract some big names and it’s key Business Parks are home to some of the world’s largest high-tech firms including Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, Symantec, Logica CMG, Huawei, Veritas and more recently, major corporates such as Bayer and Thales.
Metropolis has published 260 stories about the relocation plans of 260 Thames Valley and South East companies in the last three months; including 75 companies searching for office space. In addition, it has reported on the plans of a further 60 companies that are approaching lease decisions.
The outlook for the Thames Valley seems to be for a slightly muted summer 2017, but with the recent rating revaluation and the nearing of the completion of the Elizabeth line, the near-term will see more occupiers relocating further out of Central London along the Thames Valley from early 2018.

Cardiff Demand

In a recent report by Cushman & Wakefield, local agents reveal that Cardiff office occupiers are pushing on with move plans and that no deals have fallen through since the Brexit vote. There is also a strong demand for new space with a number of large requirements active in the city centre.

Office take-up volumes in Cardiff reached 192,000 sq ft in the six months to July 2016 , a 31% increase on H1 2015. HMRC signed a five year lease for 55,000 sq ft across four floors at Brunel House; Cardiff School of Journalism took 2,730 sqm (30,000 sq ft) at No 2 Central Square, Cardiff University took 29,000 sq ft at Friary House and Opus Energy took 1,161 sq m (12,500 sq ft) of offices at 2 Capital Quarter as well as deals to RBS and Studio TRI. In August, MotoNovo Finance took a larger than expected 6,600 sq m (71,000 sq ft) on five floors at the recently completed One Central Square.

Metropolis is tracking around twenty medium or large size office requirements in Cardiff, including Geldards, PWC and Network Rail. In addition there are a further twenty medium/large companies about to make lease decisions in Cardiff.

Legal & General has announced it was closing its offices in Surrey and relocating its workforce between Cardiff and Hove

Grade A office space availability remains low in the city centre which is putting upward pressure on prime rents at £25 per sq ft. JR Smart has started construction of 75,000 sq ft of new offices at 3 Capital
Quarter following the success at 2 Capital Quarter. While buildings such as  2 Kingsway and Golate House are tipped for refurbishment.

From next year, the city will benefit significantly from the electrification of the Great Western Main Line, improving east-west links with London and Bristol.

London 2015 take-up tops 12m sq ft..Again

The results are in on central London office take-up in 2015.

Total transactions over 5,000 sq ft in the year amounted to 12.2m sq ft researched by Metropolis, a similar figure to 2014. The lettings breakdown included nearly 6m sq ft in the City; 1.2m sq ft in Docklands; Midtown 2.2m sq ft; West End 2.7m sq ft; Southbank 0.3m sq ft.

By office grade, a substantial 5.9m sq ft of the 12.2m sq ft was grade A, ie newly built or recently refurbished space. Some of the larger examples of grade A lettings included a flurry of deals at the Straford Quarter, Aldgate Tower, Leadenhall Tower, Alphabeta Building, Park House in Oxford Street and 58 Victoria Embankment. The highest rent recorded was nearly £100psf in a recently completed Mayfair scheme. Although the year saw more than 20 substantial pre-lets, the majority of grade A lettings came after the building completion. Developers seem to be benefitting from the ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy.

The most active sectors in 2015 are set out below. All figues in million sq ft.

Financial 3.2
TMT 2.5
Business Services 1.8
Professional 1.6
Insurance 0.4

Although financial services heads the list with 3.2m sq ft of deals, boosted by large pre-lettings to Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Canada, it was closely followed by TMT (technology, media and telecom). Large deals included Google, Facebook, Universal Music and Hewlett Packard. Also showing strongly are business services (WeWork took over 500,000 sq ft) in the year and professional services was boosted by big pre-lets to ashurst Morris Crisp and Deloitte.

Looking ahead to 2016, a similar year is in prospect. Some 7m sq ft of un-let speculative office space is under construction in central London, with a further 8m sq ft at demolition stage, according to Cityoffices.net. There are office requirements totaling around 10m sq ft for the City, Midtown, West End, Docklands and Southbank, plus a further large tranche of companies making decisions on future lease expiries. Based on current trends upto 6m sq ft of demand could go to under construction or newly refurbished space with a similar volume of secondhand space lettings. So another 12m sq ft of deals in 2016 is likely.

Metropolis Movers Review of 2015

On the last day of 2015 Metropolis looks back on the year and some of the most notable of the 6,000 + office moves and business opportunities we researched during the year.

Financial Conduct Authority‘s pre-let of 425,000 sq ft of offices at Lend Lease’s International Quarter in Stratford, London, E15 was the largest deal of the year and the requirement was first tipped by Metropolis in autumn 2013.

Ashurst, the law firm, pre-let the 275,000 sq ft Fruit and Wool Exchange Building in the City of London in July 2015. Metropolis has been reporting on Ashurst’s plans since early 2013.

Royal Bank of Canada took 250,000 sq ft at the planned 100 Bishopsgate scheme in November 2015, however Metropolis has been writing about its requirement for up to two years prior to the deal.

DLA Piper signed for 140,000 at a refurbished Mitre House in London, EC2 in summer 2015. However Metropolis has been tracking DLA Piper’s requirement since June 2013.

Bouygues signed for 72,000 sq ft at Becket House, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 in December 2015 after a search which Metropolis has been updating clients on since mid-2011.

KPMG signed for a 60,000 sq ft move to Sovereign Street in Leeds in a move first tipped by Metropolis in 2011.

Shoosmiths, the law firm, signed a pre-let to take 32,000 sq ft over 2 floors at Allied Londons XYZ Building after a search (often denied by the firm itself) first tipped by Metropolis in early 2013.

BDO LLP, the accountant, signed for 24,000 sq ft in the Snow Hill area of Birmingham in November 2015 after a search that started in early 2014.

Audit Scotland signed for 15,000 sq ft at 2-6 George Street, Edinburgh in November 2015 after a search first tipped by Metropolis in May 2013.

EDF Energy was close to a 70,000 sq ft deal at Finzels Reach, Bristol in December 2015 after a search first reported by Metropolis in January 2013.

As we prepare to research for the next 6000 office movers of 2016 – A Happy and Prosperous New Year to all Metropolis blog readers!