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Positive movement in both leasing and investment for South East office market in Q3

06 05 20 business rates

In Q3, the South East office market saw over twice the number of leasing deals completed (42) than in the previous quarter (18) as take up reached 449,117 sq ft across the region.

The firm’s latest South East Office Snapshot shows that although Q3 take up was down on the 520,000 sq ft transacted in Q2, this figure was significantly boosted by the leasing of 330,000 sq ft at Ruskin Square in Croydon to the Home Office. Key transactions in the third quarter included 56,000 sq ft to Southbank University at Electric House, Croydon and a 40,000 sq ft letting to Philips at Ascent 1 in Farnborough. According to Colliers’ research, vacancy levels stand at 7.7 per cent across the South East and there is circa 350,000 sq ft of stock under offer.

Mark Taylor, from the South East Offices team commented: “Occupiers are seeking top quality space, with Grade A take up representing 60 per cent of the total volume in Q3. This is not surprising in the face of COVID-19 as occupiers are increasingly looking for fitted offices to control capital expenditure. Those properties that have facilities such as parking, cycle and changing facilities are proving far more appealing that those without, as the way employees visit and use their offices are changing.”

Investment into South East offices reached £370 million across 18 separate transactions in Q3, a five per cent increase on the £354 million transacted over 13 transactions in Q2. The largest transaction of the quarter was Straits Real Estate’s acquisition of Bourne Business Park for £76.7 million. Overseas investors continue to circle the area looking for good quality assets with strong tenant line ups due to the favourable currency markets, noted Colliers. There was only one acquisition by a local authority marking a notable shift away from being the predominant buyers of South East offices in the last three years. UK institutions were the notable net sellers of office assets in Q3. 

Guy Grantham, director in the Research & Forecasting team at Colliers International, commented: “The small but noticeable increase in transaction volumes and numbers is underpinned by a continued desire for Grade A office stock with a strong covenant to provide long term security. We calculate that towards the end of the third quarter £500 million of South East office stock came to the market, however the continued uncertainty around COVID-19 will certainly impact the usually buoyant final quarter.”

Download the South East Offices Q3 2020 Snapshot

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Guy Grantham

Director of Research and Forecasting

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London - West End

Guy has been a property research professional for 23 years and gained extensive knowledge of the UK and Global property markets. He has worked closely with a wide variety of major developers, landlords and occupiers in a consultancy capacity. Instrumental in supporting Hines' purchase of Brindleyplace for £200m, on which Colliers advised. He is now specialising in the London Office market using his extensive knowledge and experience to provide market leading insight into current occupier, investment and development trends.

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Kim Inam

PR Manager

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I'm a communications professional who has previously worked as a journalist for eight years covering a broad range of topics including politics, crime, health and housing in north London. In recent years I have worked in corporate communications for local authorities across London  and joined Colliers in October 2019, initially providing maternity leave cover.

I provide strategic public relations advice to various business lines within the UK organisation to secure recognition for their work in the property press as well as key target media, and work with our experts to produce thought leadership pieces which are of interest to our clients and colleagues within the commercial real estate sector. In addition, alongside colleagues in the PR and wider communications team, I provide media and social media training for our in-house experts to prepare them for media opportunities and raise their personal brand within the sector.

As well as supporting various teams within the UK business, I also I curate and edit regular content for the blog, which drives credible business leads to our experts.


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