Office deals in pipeline provide optimism after difficult year

55 Colmore Row

The office market in Birmingham continues to hold its breath, after enduring its slowest 12 months for a decade.

However it remains “optimistic” that the second half of 2017 will be much improved with a number of deals expected to be confirmed.

They include the announcement of HMRC’s move as part of its reorganisation of regional sites into a single hub in the city centre, while a significant letting for 55 Colmore Row is understood to be imminent.

Figures from the Birmingham Office Market Forum (BOMF), which collates data from agents operating in the city, show that 27 deals were done in the second quarter of 2017.

The rolling four-quarter total, which for the first time is entirely post-referendum, is at its lowest level since before the global economic crisis. Only one deal in excess of 20,000 sq ft – Arcadis’s deal for 2 Cornwall Street agreed in March – has been done in the last 12 months.

A total of 112,263 sq ft was taken, less than half that was agreed in the same period last year – which itself was less than half of the second quarter of 2015, when HSBC’s Arena Central move was agreed.

The first quarter of 2017 saw deals done for 136,207 sq ft of office space in the city.

BOMF said: “This represents a steady first half of the year. Nevertheless given the transactions known to be currently progressing through legals together with a number of requirements now at the decision making point, the BOMF members remain optimistic for a much stronger second half of the year in the Birmingham office leasing market.”

The largest deal in the last three months was for Hays, which took 14,221 sq ft at 1 Colmore Square, one of only four five-figure deals.

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