Thames Valley Autumn 2017

Recent research suggests that office take-up in the Thames Valley office market fell slightly in Q3 2017 to around 300,000 sq ft. of deals between July and late September. However, further pending deals amounting to over 250,000 sq ft of office space are understood to be under offer. Total take-up to the end of Q3 in 2017 is 1.25m sq ft.

The most active sectors were professional services at 20% and TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) at 19%, followed by pharmaceutical and life sciences sector, with Slough and Uxbridge as the most active towns. US-owned occupiers have around a 40% market share.

In Q3 2017, there were only five deals above 20,000 sq ft, down from nine large lettings in Q2. The largest single letting this quarter was WeWork taking 53,000 sq ft at 12 Hammersmith Grove. McAfee agreed a 19,500 sq ft move from the Bath Road to Slough town centre at the Urban Building. Fiserv signed to take 27,000 sq ft at the Porter Building in Slough, moving from Stockley Park. Some occupiers prefer to take existing space, with recent examples including: McLaren taking of 20,000 sq ft from SAB Miller in Woking and Birds Eye’s move to 40,000 sq ft of space sub-let from BP at Bedfont Lakes.

Occupier requirements have recently been driven by lease expiries, but there is emerging evidence of expansion led demand in the last two quarters.  The majority of current demand is in the sub 20,000 sq ft size band. There has been an increase in occupiers below 10,000 sq ft looking for small and flexible space.

Metropolis has confirmed nearly 150 medium/large office requirements in the Thames Valley since the beginning of 2017. Among some of the larger ‘live’ searches from at least 600,000 sq ft of new requirements in the area, include searches by: Novartis, JDA International and FCA Group. Metropolis is also tracking 140 Thames Valley companies with upcoming lease expiries, which could move in the next two years.

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