Edinburgh office sector set to end year on a high

The Law Society of Scotland has taken 19,079sq ft at Atria One. Picture: Contributed

The Law Society of Scotland has taken 19,079sq ft at Atria One. Picture: Contributed

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EDINBURGH’S office market is set to end the year on a high, property experts have predicted, after a string of key lettings kept things on the boil in the second quarter.

New research shows that in excess of 200,000 square feet was transacted between April and June, a performance that was described as “steady” and broadly in line with take-up in the opening three months of the year.

It means that total occupier take-up for the first six months of 2015 stands at 411,000sq ft, compared with 477,000sq ft during the same period last year.

Property consultancy JLL, which disclosed the figures and was involved in almost a third of the transacted space by square footage, predicts 
activity levels to continue at a similar pace over the next six months, with year-end take-up set to be well above the five and ten-year average.

With significant pre-let activity anticipated in the second half of the year, take-up for 2015 as a whole could surpass last year’s figure, which was the highest in over a decade.

The latest figures reveal that a total of 58 deals were struck in the second quarter, an increase on the 45 transacted between January and March. This was predominantly made up of smaller deals, with only three in excess of 10,000sq ft.

More than 80 per cent of take-up occurred in the city centre, with significant lettings including Capita taking 26,896sq ft at 145 Morrison Street, the Law Society of Scotland acquiring 19,079sq ft at Atria One and Whitespace taking 13,000sq ft at Norloch House.

JLL said occupier demand focuses on core central locations, with activity in the second half set to focus on two size groupings – sub 5,000sq ft and more than 20,000sq ft.

Craig Watson, director of ­office agency at JLL in Edinburgh, said: “It is clear that occupier confidence has returned to the Edinburgh office market. No one sector has been dominant, with activity from companies in the professional, financial and technology sectors. However, the transactions have generally been smaller.”

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