New property market research highlights UK’s regional differences

A new report from Knight Frank has highlighted the marked regional differences in the UK’s commercial property market. On a positive note, there is a clear indication that while market conditions remain undoubtedly tough, the level of activity for 2012 indicates a level of resilience.  Overall take-up for 2012 totalled 4,930,430 sq ft, around 4 per cent down on 2011 and 11 per cent down over the last decade. However, a number of markets enjoyed stronger conditions including Edinburgh (+47%), Glasgow (+15%), Aberdeen (+14%), Manchester (+10%) and Leeds (+3%).David Porter, Partner, head of Knight Frank’s Manchester office said; “Generally the UK regions have witnessed a steady churn of office take-up, with companies either consolidating operations into a single “HUB” building, or taking less space. In almost all cases, occupiers are looking to upgrade the quality of their space and hence the majority of demand is for new or recently refurbished Grade A accommodation. This level of take-up is driving some regional cities towards a “tipping point” where the lack of supply of good quality space is such that a strong case for speculative development or the refurbishment of existing poor quality stock is emerging. Most demand is focused on city centres, although, certain out-of-town locations, particularly around major airports, have also seen high levels of take-up compared with previous years.”