Scottish office market remains in good shape despite ‘economic headwinds’

Sara Dudgeon

JLL has revealed that the office market outlook remains ‘positive’ across Scotland’s central belt, following analysis of new data from the commercial property specialist.

In Glasgow, there was 126,000 sq ft transacted in the city centre in Q2 this year, an 11% increase on the same period last year. The number of deals of 5,000 sq ft and over in Glasgow also rose in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2021.

In Edinburgh, there was a total take-up of approximately 97,000 sq ft in Q2, with just over 51,000 sq ft of this within the city centre. A ‘significant’ number of lease renewals were also agreed, which JLL said suggests occupiers are continuing to assess workplace strategies.

JLL also reported the highest number of occupier viewings in Edinburgh during May this year – the highest levels since 2017.

Despite wider economic ‘headwinds’, the firm said the clear trends towards ‘higher quality, sustainable space, albeit with a reduced footprint’, sees the office market remaining healthy.

Sara Dudgeon, associate at JLL in Edinburgh, said, “The first half of 2022 has seen uptake in occupier activity, evidence of how robust the market is. Demand for Grade A office space has been particularly high in the capital with an increase in workers returning to the office. Many firms are taking more time to find the right space for their workforce as employee demands evolve and we’ll continue to work to support our clients to find and create the best spaces possible.”

Meg Beattie, surveyor at JLL in Glasgow, added, “Positive take-up figures over the past six months is a strong indication of growing confidence in our market. It’s interesting to note that professional services firms are beginning to implement their long-term occupation strategies and returning to the market seeking solutions to their current and future needs.

Meg Beattie

“Although occupiers are tending to reduce their size requirement, most are focusing on better quality options. With a number of larger deals under offer, the outlook for the Glasgow office market is encouraging. We are optimistic that the Scottish office markets continue to remain robust.”