Central Birmingham office take-up totalled 194,014 sq ft across 25 deals in Q1 2019, representing a very healthy start to the year and the second-highest first quarter take-up level for the last 10 years.

This is according to the latest Q1 2019 Birmingham Offices Snapshot, published by global real estate advisor Colliers International.

The level also topped the 10-year Q1 take-up average, which currently stands at 142,667 sq ft.

“Of course these figures are buoyed to a degree by The Commonwealth Games subleasing 72,261 sq ft from Deutsche Bank at One Brindleyplace,” said Richard Williams, Associate Director, National Offices – Birmingham, Colliers International. “Nevertheless, when you consider the continuing and growing absorption of serviced office space that goes unreported, it makes for a rather more robust picture of the market in spite of the continuing political and economic uncertainty.” 

He continued: “Increasingly we are seeing the legal process of documenting leases take longer than has traditionally been the case, primarily due to the growing levels of caution and diligence among occupiers and their real estate advisors. Notwithstanding this, while we may see quieter quarters this year, in view of some substantial pre-let activity that we anticipate during 2019, the foundations have been laid for another stellar year of office take-up in Birmingham city centre.”

With The Commonwealth Games Committee responsible for delivering the event, it is expected more space will be leases by other teams in future, bringing more inward investment into Birmingham.

While the public sector accounted for 41 per cent of Q1 2019 office demand, the legal sector was the second most active in the quarter – largely as a result of Irwin Mitchell taking 46,750 sq ft in The Colmore Building.

Lisa Dean, Associate Director, Research & Forecasting, Colliers International, said: “When you look at Q1 take-up across the last decade, 2019 is well-above the 10-year average, and the second highest over this period. With further significant occupier requirements expected to transact this year, we expect 2019 to continue the squeeze on supply despite new stock coming to the market”