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News Release


Investors looking beyond London to smaller cities such as Southampton

Southampton, April 29, 2015 – Investors are looking beyond London and the 'Big Six' to the office markets of smaller towns and cities such as Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth for investment opportunities, according to a new report by JLL.

JLL's 'Where Next in the UK?' report showed that the outlook for the UK's smaller cities has been more optimistic than it has been for some time. Rising capital values and strong competition are now driving investors to look beyond the major UK cities for quality office stock and potential value. 

The report looked at three categories of smaller city: 'growth leaders', 'potential performers' and cities 'awaiting lift off'.

Portsmouth was named a 'growth leader' in the report, alongside cities such as Brighton, Swindon and Reading, meaning it has seen strong capital value growth, above 25% since the end of the downturn at the end of 2012, and is forecast to see above average economic growth over the next five years.

Southampton and Bournemouth were categorised as a 'potential performers' alongside Warrington, Nottingham and Oxford, meaning they have seen positive capital value growth, but below 25%, and are also forecast to see above average economic growth in the coming years.

Nella Pang, associate director in the Southampton office of JLL, said: "Southampton and Bournemouth have a strong economic outlook, without having experienced the same degree of capital value growth as 'growth leaders' such as Portsmouth.

"As such they should benefit from further capital growth in coming years as the property market gradually responds to the robust economic backdrop. The outlook for Portsmouth remains solid and we expect to see a gradual shift towards rent-driven performance."

Southampton currently has a shortage of good quality office stock and has lost over 200,000 sq ft through permitted development rights, according to the report. Speculative development in the city has been limited, but confidence in the market and a strong development pipeline indicates that new space will start over the course of 2015.