Central Belt sees rising demand for office space

The Glasgow office saw particularly strong demand. Picture: John Devlin

The Glasgow office saw particularly strong demand. Picture: John Devlin

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Demand for commercial property across the Central Belt strengthened in the first half of the year with encouraging signs of a possible upturn in Aberdeen also emerging, according to a new report.

The Glasgow office market in particular saw strong demand from occupiers with a 75 per cent increase in the take-up of space during the six months, according to property consultant CBRE’s Office Market View. The 431,982 sq ft of space taken in the city was the third highest first-half total on record.

A deal for Morgan Stanley to take space at Bothwell Exchange was one of the largest deals seen in Glasgow in the period. Availability levels are now the lowest they have been since the end of 2007, reversing the period of high supply seen after the global financial crisis.

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For the third year in succession, the occupier market in Edinburgh saw a strong level of take-up with 451,390 sq ft acquired during the period. Significant deals include one which saw Napier University secure space at South Gyle Business Park.

Although CBRE described office space take-up in Aberdeen as continuing to be subdued at 88,570 sq ft, it said it was encouraging to see PwC and Aberdeen Journals committing to take space in speculative city centre developments.

Stewart Taylor, a senior director in CBRE’s Edinburgh office, said it remained to be seen how the office market in Scotland will be affected by Brexit and a possible second independence referendum.

“In the short term, speculative funding will almost certainly become harder to get making it even more difficult to move schemes over the starting line to meet the shortage of Grade A stock,” he said.

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