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Big 6 2016

Increased confidence and war for talent helped office pre-lets reach highest levels on record in the Big 6 markets last year.

​​It was also a record year for office investment, with £2.6 billion transacted across the cities in 2015.

Covering the Big 6 UK regional markets, we held our annual seminar on Thursday 25 February at BAFTA in London followed by the Edinburgh event on Wednesday 2 March.

The Grade A office shortage, improving corporate confidence and increased competition to attract and retain talent motivated a record number of occupiers in 2015 to pursue pre-lets, which in turn is helping to address supply gap.

London's ongoing space dilemma was identified as being a driver for occupier requirements to shift to the regions. Increasing connectivity, competition for talent, cost of living and agile working are all factors for businesses considering a move out of the capital. Permitted Development Rights (PDR) could however put pressure on the availability of office space in the regional markets in England.

For 2016, JLL highlights that rental growth and refurbishment as a key theme for the Big 6 office markets. Refurbishment schemes totalling 800,000 sq ft will be delivered this year, with a further 10 new schemes totalling one million sq ft due to start.

For investors, factors such as quality stock, the outlook for rental growth and pricing being at a discount to other EMEA centres are ensuring the Big 6 office market truly has international appeal although uncertainty surrounding the looming EU referendum may impact on trading volumes.

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