Edinburgh office market ‘highly positive’ after strong finish to 2021

Edinburgh town centre

A STRONG final quarter in 2021 saw office take-up in Edinburgh continue its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and start the new year with renewed positivity, according to new analysis from Knight Frank.

The independent commercial property consultancy’s analysis found that 577,532 sq. ft. of city centre office space was let in 2021, a 150% rise on the 230,881 sq. ft. transacted during 2020. The final quarter of 2021 saw 268,640 sq. ft. of take-up compared to 99,321 sq. ft. during the same period in 2020 – up 171%. 

New build Grade A space continues to dwindle, with a series of pre-lets agreed at Haymarket Edinburgh including to Cairn Energy and Shepherd & Wedderburn, which were announced in December 2021. The average deal size in the city increased to more than 5,000 sq. ft. as occupiers sought more space. 

Professional services and TMT (technology, media, and telecommunications) were the most active sectors, accounting for 12% and 31% of take-up last year respectively. Fanduel agreeing to take nearly 60,000 sq. ft. at 2 Freer Street was the biggest deal of the year.

Simon Capaldi, office agency partner at Knight Frank Edinburgh, said: “Last year saw a strong final quarter, with a flurry of deals concluded. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Edinburgh’s office market has been resilient throughout.

“We’re also beginning to see the long-discussed flight to quality, with more occupiers moving to high quality and more ESG-friendly space, such as 1 Haymarket Square. We expect this trend to continue into 2022 as more occupiers look for their property to reflect their sustainability commitments, business values, and the increased focus on staff welfare.

“There is a highly positive sentiment going into this year, with Edinburgh being an even more desirable place to live and work. Our research has shown that it is among the best cities in Europe for quality of life and wellbeing and that only looks like remaining the case.”

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