High quality stock in Solihull and M42 office market at record low

Stratford Court

High quality stock in the Solihull and M42 office market is at its lowest ever level, according to commercial property agents KWB.

KWB’s Q2 report warns that with a market lacking space so severely, rent levels are increasing and presenting problems for occupiers either looking to relocate or approaching a lease event.

The report calls for more office space to be built urgently to prevent occupiers from either remaining in their existing space or consider relocating elsewhere.

KWB says that newly refurbished high-quality space will set record levels for Birmingham’s out of office market and while there is slightly more office space coming on stream, refurbished stock coming up is few and far between and likely to be taken very quickly.

John Bryce, director at KWB, said: “Whilst we have seen commitments to creating new industrial space along the M42 responding to the delivery boom, office supply has not followed suit. Instead, we saw – and drove – a flurry of refurbishment, which delivered some much-needed high quality office stock. Pre-lets for new space then followed – namely those at Blythe Valley Business Park. However, such new opportunities are now thin on the ground.

“Ongoing lack of supply now means that some occupiers are having to look elsewhere. These represent missed opportunities for commercial property investors and developers, underling the strong case to invest. Solihull is regarded as a very prosperous area – having fared well during periods of recession – and continues to attract businesses to the area, making it a prime location for opportunities.

“Whilst development proposals, such as the NEC Masterplan and Arden Cross, are in the pipeline, the timescales cannot address the short and medium-term issue. We need to see projects that can deliver office space in a shorter time frame. This requires proactive investors as well as suitable sites with a supportive approach to planning permission.”

Despite high occupier demand, just seven lettings totalling 35,419 sq ft were secured during the quarter. Most of the new occupiers were development and construction related, tying in with HS2 and projects including Arden Cross. BN Developments took 4,405 sq ft at Barnsley Hall in Bromsgrove; Buckingham Group Contracting took 4,110sq ft at 2 Stratford Court in Cranmore, Shirley and DC Construction took 4,228 sq ft at Queen Anne House in Coleshill.