Uptake of Edinburgh office space at all-time high

The uptake of office space in Edinburgh reached an all-time high in the second quarter of this year, with more than 535,000sq ft transacted during the quarter.

That figure from Cushman & Wakefield was the highest since the firm began tracking the market in 2000, with the previous record being in the fourth quarter of 2002, when take-up totalled 462,150sq ft.

That included Royal Bank of Scotland taking 350,000sq ft at its newly-built headquarters at Gogarburn.

The biggest deal in the most recent quarter was the Government Property Unit (GPU) agreeing a pre-let of 181,000sq ft at New Waverley, where it plans to create a “centre of excellence” for public service .

Other significant transactions included State Street's pre-let of 65,600sq ft at Quartermile 3, Computershare acquiring 41,000sq ft at Edinburgh House and Standard Life Investments taking 31,300sq ft at John Courage House in South Gyle.

Uptake for the first half of the year stands at 735,000sq ft, which is the highest half-year total on Cushman & Wakefield's records.

James Thomson, head of the firm's Edinburgh agency team, said a good pipeline of lettings are anticipated in the second half, making it likely that take-up will exceed one million square feet for only the second time in market history.

“The Edinburgh market has delivered an outstanding performance in the first half of 2017 despite on-going global and national political uncertainty,” he added.

“Whilst large single lettings like the GPU can skew trends, the State Street, Computershare and Standard Life deals are all sizeable lettings on long leases which illustrate strong occupier confidence in Edinburgh as a place to do business.”

Supply has fallen further, with only 302,000sq ft of Grade A space available in the city centre.

Future supply is also constrained, with only three new developments under construction which will deliver a further 174,000sq ft to the market, of which 65,000sq ft is pre-let to State Street.