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The Core Scores And Co-Working Takes Its Toll? The Lessons Of Q1 Office Take-Up

Birmingham skyline

Birmingham's office market take-up in the first quarter was 148K SF in 22 deals. The figure was almost exactly midway between the five-year average of 159K SF and the 10-year average of 136K SF — making the Q1 outcome the very definition of average.

The data shows the Q1 dominance of the core markets over the city fringe. Total fringe take-up was 65K SF, dominated by one deal (WSP's 46K SF pre-let at Brockton Capital's Mailbox). The city's core office market accounted for the remaining 60% of the market.

The Q1 data also showed a striking absence of smaller transactions: Eight of 22 transactions were under 2K SF, including just three transactions under 1K SF.

"This is a small sample of data over a short period, and you can't draw firm conclusions about trends on the strength of it, but it is clear that the number of small deals is strikingly low," Birmingham Office Market Forum Chairman and JLL Director Jonathan Carmalt said.

"The smaller number of smaller deals could be caused by the rapid growth in Birmingham of the co-working and serviced office sector. These Q1 figures could be the first sign of the way they are changing the market."

The future of the workplace and the impact co-working is having on Birmingham will be among the topics at the Bisnow Birmingham State of the Market event on 26 April. Speakers include West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy Street.