The latest RARE seat survey provides an inside track on the occupational performance of the SE Office market over the next 12 months.
The Buzz word for 2019 according to RARE will be ‘Polarization’ brought about by a growing divergence in price between preferred higher and lower grade offices, between amenity rich vs isolated locations and companies are proactively planning their moves well in advance, rather than adopting a wait and see stance. Planned, high specification space in urban environments will be even more in demand.
Guy Parkes, Director at RARE commented that “For business based in the region there are 3 key important factors that really do matter and are set to influence their property choices regardless of Brexit or the economic cycle. These are Lease events, a focus on cost control and cost avoidance and thirdly, cultural changes in the workplace driving increased demand to relocate to connected places and upgraded space.”
In fact Connections (to London) currently look to be more important than cost. This research shows a concentration of rental growth along the M4 corridor, in particular in Reading and Slough experiencing Prime rental growth of 5-10%. The pace of rent growth has slowed elsewhere, creating opportunities for occupiers less concerned about access to London. Bracknell, Basingstoke and Camberley in particular all offer distinct cost advantages.
RARE further highlight that “A limited development pipeline combined with more rapid absorption is narrowing choice and occupiers are moving from a defensive stance to planned opportunism and are now planning their moves up to 2 years in advance. Some, faced with the prospect of a more competitive trading environment, are taking space even earlier.
Parkes goes on the mention that “The war on talent is encouraging businesses to home in on amenity rich locations with excellent transport links to London and Heathrow and so widening the appeal of their operations to a greater audience of staff. The Elizabeth Line will for instance increase the catchment area for Slough to up to 2 Million people.”
The latest Seat Survey map and occupational research can be viewed here.