Glasgow's office market rewrites records after major take-up

Glasgow’s office occupier market saw its most active year since records began, with over 1.4 million sq ft of city centre space leased in 2018, according to property consultancy JLL.

January 08, 2019

Glasgow’s office occupier market posted its most active year since records began, with over 1.4 million sq ft of city centre space leased in 2018, according to property consultancy JLL.

In the final quarter of the year, 232,730 sq ft was transacted in Glasgow’s city centre, taking total take-up for the year to 1,425,419 sq ft – an increase of 127 per cent compared with the final year-end take up in 2017, when 627,313 sq ft changed hands.

In an exceptional year for the market, the final total is more than double the city’s five and ten year averages.

Significant deals last year which contributed to the record breaking total included Barclays 470,000 sq ft purchase at Buchanan Wharf, a major pre-let of 187,000 sq ft to HMRC at Atlantic Square and Clydesdale Bank’s 110,955 sq ft pre let at 177 Bothwell Street.

JLL advised on just over 1 million sq ft of the total volume transacted in 2018 and were involved in four of the top five largest deals. It says that while 2018 was an incredible year for Glasgow, last year’s levels will be tough to repeat in 2019 in part due to Brexit uncertainty and the continued lack of office supply and speculative development.

Alistair Reid, director at JLL in Glasgow, said: “Last year’s success will be difficult to replicate over the next 12 months given the unique circumstances which led to this record breaking year. Most of the year’s largest deals were pre-lets and the Barclays transaction of nearly half a million sq. ft made such a significant impact on the take-up figures. 2018 was a stellar year for the city and even if the major pre-let deals such as Barclays and HMRC are removed from the figures, 2018’s year-end total is still ahead of the five year average.

“Clearly there are concerns within the market over the uncertain economic environment in 2019 and how this could impact upon occupier’s decisions. However, the continued limited speculative development and overall supply should reward those developers and landlords who are brave enough to press on with their projects.”