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News Release

Edinburgh

Office Supply in Edinburgh Reaches Critical Level ​


EDINBURGH, 08 February 2016 - The availability of offices in Edinburgh has fallen to its lowest level since the financial crisis in 2008, according to new research by leading property consultancy JLL.

With vacancy rates falling to 4.8%, businesses looking to expand within the city are facing increasingly limited options, affecting both the existing business community but also businesses from outside Edinburgh considering the capital for either relocation or expansion.

Edinburgh's supply shortage is primarily due to record levels of demand and take-up over the last two years. JLL recently published research showing that, in 2015, Edinburgh posted the highest take-up of office space since 2001. However, the lack of availability has also been compounded by the loss of over 800,000 sq ft of office accommodation during the last four years to alternative uses such as hotel and residential conversions. 

JLL is forecasting supply to remain tight, if not critical, until 2018.  Although there is 240,000 sq ft of new build offices presently under construction at Qmile and 3-8 St Andrew Square, all the space has been pre-let to SLI, Cirrus Logic and FanDuel.

The next wave of new office developments, including the Mint Building at St Andrew Square, the first phase at The Haymarket and the final office building at Qmile, are not due to complete until late 2017 at the very earliest. 

In the short term, the refurbishment of 40 Torphichen Street, which has just completed, will relieve some of the demand for office space in the city centre.

Cameron Stott, director, office agency, JLL in Scotland said: "We've been saying this for years, but the availability of office space in Edinburgh is now reaching a critical stage. This is not simply a property issue. The lack of supply threatens to stifle economic growth in the capital, by simply not being able to accommodate any expansion from within Edinburgh's existing business community or any growth from start-ups. This, in turn, will have a serious impact on any employment growth prospects and inward investment into the city. Given the growth we've witnessed in recent years from Edinburgh's thriving technology and financial services sectors, we need to build upon these opportunities and provide the infrastructure in which these businesses can grow and thrive. For that to happen, Edinburgh must address the challenges of developing new offices in the city in terms of planning, funding and preventing the conversion of existing offices to alternative uses."