Total office take-up for 2020 was relatively robust following Baillie Gifford’s acquisition of 280,000 sq ft at Haymarket during Q3, although elsewhere, activity has been unsurprisingly scarce. Take-up amounted to 473,000 sq ft in the city centre and 90,000 sq ft out-of-town,17% and 58% below ten-year averages.
The number and size of deals in the city centre picked up in Q4 and was a significant improvement on the previous two quarters. The largest deal was 20,100 sq ft to Arup Group at 10 George Street and there were also six deals between 5,000 sq ft and 10,000 sq ft – the majority of which involved ‘best in class’ space as occupiers focus on upscaling the quality of their offices. This included transactions to Parsley Box at Quartermile 3, NCM Finance at 7 Castle Street and Crown Estates Scotland at Quartermile 2.
There are a handful of other grade A deals that did not cross the line so we should see a decent level of take-up during Q1, though the positive momentum that was building towards Christmas has fallen back a little as lockdown restrictions have increased.
With a number of occupiers delaying their requirements for the time being, there is likely to be an element of pent-up demand later in the year. In the short term, the development pipeline remains relatively limited although we expect to see the supply of second-hand space increase, partially as a result of the Baillie Gifford deal, as they look to come out of other occupied properties.
In the out-of-town market, Mapeley sold the 90,000 sq ft Grayfield House in Bankhead for redevelopment from offices to urban logistics: 165,000 sq ft of industrial and warehousing space is proposed across 20 units ranging from 3,400 sq ft to 25,000 sq ft.
TAKE UP Q4
95,616 sq ft
Out of Town
12,224 sq ft
£37 per sq ft
Out of Town
£22.50 per sq ft
571,913 sq ft
TOP FIVE DEALS Q4
KEY SECTOR ACTIVITY 2020
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