Strong second quarter for Edinburgh office market

Craig Watson
Craig Watson

Office occupier take up in Edinburgh continued to show steady strong demand during the second quarter of 2015, according to new research by JLL.

In excess of 200,000 sq ft was transacted between April and June, down slightly on the first quarter figure of 211,000 sq ft. The total occupier take-up for the first six months (411,000 sq ft) is behind the same period last year (477,000 sq ft)

JLL – involved in over 30 per cent of transacted space by sq ft – predicts activity levels to continue at a similar pace over the next six months with year-end take-up expected 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 be above last year’s figure which was the highest in over a decade.

There were a total of 58 deals in Q2, an increase on the 45 transacted between January and March. This was predominantly made up of smaller deals, with only three transactions over 10,000 sq ft.

Craig Watson, Director Office Agency, JLL in Edinburgh said, “It is clear that occupier confidence has returned to the Edinburgh office market. Take-up over the last three months has proven strong with a large jump in the number of transactions. No one sector has been dominant, with activity from companies in the professional, financial and technology sectors. However, the transactions have generally been smaller.

“The dynamics of the market are now right for pre-letting activity. Only three buildings can immediately accommodate a requirement over 40,000 sq ft in the city centre. With a number of larger requirements in circulation, we are aware that this latent demand is already starting to consider pre-lets.”

Over 82 per cent of take up occurred in the city centre, with significant lettings including Capita taking 26,896 sq ft at 145 Morrison Street, The Law Society of Scotland acquiring 19,079 sq ft at Atria One and Whitespace taking 13,000 sq ft space at Norloch House.