South East Office Market Report - The growth of the knowledge sector
The Western Corridor leasing market saw tentative signs of recovery in 2021.
- Elaine Rossall
- Barrie David
- Vicky Heath
The Western Corridor leasing market started to see tentative signs of recovery during 2021, as lockdown restrictions were eased. Take-up increased year on year and was virtually on par with Pre-COVID activity recorded in 2019. Activity was predominantly driven by the return of larger leasing deals with seven transactions more than 50,000 sq ft completed in 2021 compared to just one in the previous 12 months.
The TMT sector continued to drive the Western Corridor market as it has done since 2015, and the sector accounted for 26% of all take-up by floorspace. Supply saw a marginal increase, predominantly in the Thames Valley rather than in West London. Oxford and Cambridge saw a similar upward trend in supply but at a much faster rate as a record level of speculative development was completed.
The report also focuses on the “clusters” in the South East which have helped to support the strong occupier market in the region. These include:
- Research and development and life sciences Golden Triangle of London-Oxford-Cambridge
- The advanced engineering of motorsport alley between Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey
- The software development and video gaming hub of Guildford