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How Birmingham Offices Look Stronger If You Squint

Squint squinting child funny face
The numbers do make sense, promise.

This time last month, the mood was downbeat as the Birmingham office market digested 2018's slightly disappointing take-up figures. Whilst the 754K SF of deals recorded was slightly above the medium-term average, it was 25% below the stonking performance in 2017. Hence the thin smiles.

Now, new data has emerged from Avison Young which, using some different data sets, produces a more encouraging conclusion.

Avison Young said Birmingham’s office market saw transactions totalling more than 1.2M in 2018, 9% up on the 10-year average.

Its quarterly Big Nine report (begun under its previous guise of GVA) looks at the city region, including the out-of-town market, rather than narrowly at the city centre. And out-of-town markets did well.

Deals included Birmingham City University’s acquisition of the 118K SF  Belmont Works in the Eastside area and, in the final quarter, financial advisors Barnett Waddingham taking 21K SF at 3 Devon Way in Longbridge. Birmingham Business Park also contributed with train manufacturer Zhuzhou signing up for 17.6K SF  and dental technologists Align Technology’s letting of 13K SF. 

“Birmingham experienced a very strong Q4 both in the city centre and out-of-town markets, and it shows the confidence in the region from local businesses and those looking to relocate as inward investors, and the wide variety of space in terms of both size and location currently available in the region," Avison Young principal Charles Toogood said.

“Out-of-town locations such as Solihull are seeing some of the highest headline rents in the UK regions, which demonstrates businesses desire to locate to the West Midlands: not just in the cities, but further afield as well."