Lack of regional commercial property could hamper UK growth

commercial propertyAlthough construction is on an upward trend, the development of commercial property lags behind, and the situation is particularly challenging in the West Midlands. According to JLL and Glenigan’s inaugural Commercial Construction Index, total construction starts by value, year end Q2 of 2014 were 15 per cent down compared to Q2 of 2013 at £2.03 billion. Graham Taylor, director of JLL’s Birmingham Buildings & Construction team, explained that the volume of commercial property being started has not risen substantially since the recession. Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester are already experiencing a shortage of Grade A office space – with much of the shortfall due to a drop in construction activity compared to the early to mid 2000’s. He said: “Rising corporate confidence means that many companies are looking to upgrade their workplaces. The corporate world is increasingly recognising that well-designed modern offices can be a key driver of productivity and staff retention, two major strategic concerns.”