City’s office take-up ‘relatively robust’

Office take-up in Birmingham in the first quarter of 2017 was “relatively robust”, agents have said, despite a fourth-consecutive like-for-like drop.

A total of 136,203 sq ft was taken in 29 deals, led by Arcadis signing up for 22,953 sq ft at 2 Cornwall Street.

The three-month period showed an improvement on the third and fourth quarters of 2016, which were both just below 100,000 sq ft.

Despite it being just less than half of the comparative 2016 figure, which was boosted by big deals for PwC and DAC Beachcroft, it is the second-highest Q1 total since 2010.

The Birmingham Office Market Forum said: “The Q1, 2017 outcome represents a relatively robust start to the year, improving on the take up figures recorded in quarters three and four, 2016 of 95,546 sq ft and 97,391 sq ft respectively.

“Active demand in the quarter was boosted following HS2 securing Royal Assent in late February, which is likely to be reflected in lettings as the year progresses.”

The Q1 data is a welcome sign after a post-referendum slowdown resulted in the second half of 2016 having the lowest office take-up since the credit crunch.

Just 192,937 sq ft of space was taken up in the final six months of 2016, with no individual deal exceeding 20,000 sq ft.