Glasgow office market posts steady half year results

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Glasgow’s office occupier market has recorded steady activity in the first six months of the year, despite a limited number of major deals taking place, according to new data from JLL.

Between April and June 2019, total office take-up across Glasgow’s city centre reached 151,412 sq ft spread across 20 deals, marking a 46 per cent increase compared with the previous quarter, when 103,497 sq ft was transacted.

The biggest deal of Q2 saw Hilton take 41,665 sq ft at 191 West George Street. JLL advised on the agreement which saw the hotel group acquire three floors in the building. Only one floor now remains at 191 West George Street following NFU’s comprehensive refurbishment. In the second largest deal of Q2, tech firm ARM acquired 26,910 sq ft over the ground and first floors of St Vincent Plaza.

The first half of 2019 saw a total of 254,909 sq ft transacted, marking a steady first half of the year in keeping with the ten year average.

However the figure falls short of the same half year period in 2018 when a record breaking 578,223 sq ft changed hands. This was the busiest six months of activity in Glasgow’s city centre for a decade involving landmark deals with HRMC and Clydesdale Bank.

According to JLL, activity in the first half of 2019 has led to an increasingly tight supply. Current market total vacancy rates are sitting at 5.21%, even tighter than 12 months ago when the figure was 6.92%.

JLL say that despite lower comparative take up in 2019 so far, there are strong live and pipeline occupier requirements which should see the year return a healthy take up figure.

Alistair ReidDirector at JLL, said: “Glasgow’s office occupier market has had a steady start to the year, with a quiet churn of small to medium sized deals in the city centre. With vacancy levels at a new low, especially within the Grade A market, occupiers are being forced to assess their options as early as possible, with many considering refurbished stock and pre-let opportunities. We expect Q3 to continue this pattern of steady performance and we remain optimistic for a healthy second half to the year.”

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