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Annual Western Corridor seminar hints at record year for investment market, opportunities for growth in leasing market and the importance of a proactive approach to employee wellbeing
London 13 September, 2017 – JLL's annual West London and Thames Valley seminar, held today, highlighted the strength of the region's office market post Brexit, painting it as an attractive proposition for both investors and occupiers.
The latest market data held by JLL hints that office investment in the region is set to record a stellar year, with in excess of £2billion of deals already transacted. Overseas investors have accounted for over 60% of these deals, hailing from a wide cross-section of geographies.
The office leasing market has performed at a steady rate and is set to hit 1.75million sq ft of take-up by year end. In H1, the Thames Valley market outperformed West London, with over 60% of deals in this geography. The long-awaited Elizabeth Line is beginning to influence occupier thinking and the development pipeline being delivered on this key piece infrastructure stand to benefit from new entrants to the market. Further to this, opportunities for investors and developers can be found as a result of the £45billion of investment in the wider South East's infrastructure, which will increase connectivity.
The seminar highlighted how technology is impacting the way businesses are structured and influencing occupier decision making, with clusters of growth businesses. JLL highlighted the automotive industry with opportunity to grow through electric and autonomous vehicles research and development. The Life Sciences cluster in the wider South East is increasing in strength, with occupiers wanting to be located close to their suppliers, customers and competitors.
A call to action to embrace employee wellbeing was given, outlining it as a future success marker which provides the ability to improve asset performance and increase employee productivity.
Angus Minford, director, South East office investment at JLL said: "This year has been a particularly vibrant one for the investment market with an increasingly widespread capital base from the UK and overseas. There has been particular interest in the Reading and Hammersmith markets, whilst South East Business Parks have performed strongly with eight transacting so far this year, totalling well over £1 billion."
James Finnis, head of South East office agency at JLL said: "The development pipeline has been active and delivered good stock into the market. The take-up year to date has been as forecast, but remains limited. Looking into 2018/19/20 the market will enter a period of net absorption which will create opportunities in certain markets for renewed development activity. Buildings cannot afford to be 'vanilla' and success will come to those who have the right ingredients to attract and engage occupiers and their employees."
Ben Burston, head of UK offices and capital markets research at JLL said: "As technology continues to reshape business, shortening product lifecycles and increasing the pace of change it will also reshape occupier demand. This will put increasing emphasis on flexible space to facilitate interaction and new product development."
Claire Racine, associate director, Upstream Sustainability Services at JLL concluded: "There has never been a better time to embrace the concept of employee wellbeing. Creating environments which promote productivity by being mindful to employee needs is the key to success, with early adopters of these strategies already reaping the rewards."
For more information on JLL's South East Office Agency and Investment teams visit www.jll.co.uk
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