Edinburgh office market sees ‘strong’ finish to 2021

NEW research has shown that a ‘strong’ final quarter in 2021 saw office take-up in Edinburgh continue its recovery from the pandemic.

Analysis from Knight Frank found that 577,532 sq. ft. of city centre office space was let in 2021 – a 150% rise on 2020. The final quarter saw 268,640 sq. ft. of take-up – up 171% on the same period 12 months earlier.

New build Grade A space continues to ‘dwindle’, with a series of pre-lets agreed at Haymarket Edinburgh including to Cairn Energy and Shepherd & Wedderburn, both announced in December.

Professional services and TMT (technology, media, and telecommunications) were the most active sectors, accounting for 12% and 31% of take-up, respectively. Fanduel agreeing to take nearly 60,000 sq. ft. at 2 Freer Street was the biggest deal of the year.

Simon Capaldi, office agency partner at Knight Frank Edinburgh, said, “Last year saw a strong final quarter, with a flurry of deals concluded. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Edinburgh’s office market has been resilient throughout.

“We’re also beginning to see the long-discussed flight to quality, with more occupiers moving to high quality and more ESG-friendly space, such as 1 Haymarket Square. We expect this trend to continue into 2022 as more occupiers look for their property to reflect their sustainability commitments, business values, and the increased focus on staff welfare.

“There is a highly positive sentiment going into this year, with Edinburgh being an even more desirable place to live and work. Our research has shown that it is among the best cities in Europe for quality of life and wellbeing and that only looks like remaining the case.”