Simon Ford, Director, EMEA Corporate Solutions at Colliers International commented: “In recent months we have seen clients lose their favoured options by delays in their decision making process. We are advising our clients to be pro-active in their key city metro strategies we expect to see an increase in pre-let activity as a result.”

Ford continues:  “Corporates are facing a lack of choice; especially when it comes to a central location.  Our research tells us that only 19% of the options available were in central business districts. And we expect further constraint on the back of increased demand for space fuelled by an improving economic situation across Europe.  

“To this end we see supply of large office spaces becoming scarcer. So timing will be critical.  In fact, we are advising our clients to start pro-actively looking at their needs in the next five years and to review their decision making timeframes to ensure they do not lose out on their preferred options.”

Explaining the key trends regarding geography, Ford adds:  “Moscow quite literally tells a tale of two cities; itoffers the highest number of large newly-built premises in Europe (50 out of 60 available larger offices in completed buildings). However, the city has recorded a significant decrease in the availability of large under construction premises.”

“What’s also interesting is the picture in Central London has seen a sharp reduction in the total number of large offices available (down from 60 to 44) within the past year. The relative quality of what is available has also fallen. Occupiers prepared to look beyond Central London will have a much wider choice.

Highlights form the Colliers Data include:
  • There are 723 larger offices (5,000 sqm) available in the major European cities (if previously occupied, refurbished and under-construction properties are included), with Moscow (71), Central Paris & La Défense (62), Amsterdam (61) and Munich (52) coming out on top.  
  • Availability has increased significantly in just a handful of cities. Thanks to high levels of construction, supply is growing in Istanbul and Zurich, and there’s a modest lift in availability in Munich.
  • Occupiers wanting newly-built offices will find their choice increasingly limited. The proportion of newly-built offices is falling (down from 30 per cent to 27 per cent) and the proportion of previously used office space is rising (up from 48 per cent last year to 55 per cent this year). New premises are more likely to be available in Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Turkey, where the share of new and under construction larger offices remains high (73 per cent).
  • In Southern Europe,  Madrid has seen a significant decrease in the number of large offices available (from 42 to 28) on the back of lack of new speculative office projects and strengthening demand; also Milan’s office market has enjoyed an increase in take-up resulting in smaller availability in the CBD and a glimpse of rental growth;  

Ford concludes:  “Europe’s economy is moving again after years of decline, hesitation and stagnation. In light of this, we expect large corporate occupiers to increase their headcount and commit to new office space in 2015, particularly in markets such as London, the major German cities, Stockholm, Warsaw and Budapest.   However, we predict that older buildings which do not meet occupiers’ high standards and exacting demands will become obsolete and will be refurbished, or converted for residential or hotel uses.”