UK Big 6 Report
H2 2019 

While annual performance was mixed across the individual cities, the second half of 2019 saw robust leasing activity. Read our new Big 6 report and the takeaways from our annual seminar.

February 26, 2020
Rent increases across the Big 6

Tight supply and positive occupier demand supported rents across the Big 6, with annual rental growth of 5.4% with pre-letting increasingly the route to securing the best space across the Big 6 – something which was very evident during 2019.

2019 saw a further contraction in supply and by the year end, the average vacancy rate stood at just 4.2%. This is a historic low and significantly below the long-term average of 7.9%. The pressure on supply is more acute for Grade A space, with the vacancy rate falling to an unprecedented low of 1.2%.

The outlook for 2020 is for further rental growth, as supply shortages are likely to continue as much of the speculative space being developed is likely to be let before completion.

Big 6 office investment surpassed £2billion again in 2019, the fifth highest year on record. Although volumes were 16% down on a strong 2018, they remained relatively stable in the context of the wider market as overall UK investment was 21% down in 2019 and office investment was 29% down.

Leeds was the best performing Big 6 market, with £526m invested, comfortably the highest ever figure and 66% up on last year’s £317m and Edinburgh also saw record investment in 2019 with £471million transacted.

To read more about Big 6 performance, download our H2 2019 report or scroll to watch our video updates below.

The Big 6 update

During our annual presentation, regional Directors discussed the leasing and investment performance across the Big 6 office markets; Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

The leasing and occupier market saw an increased focus on out of town developments and business parks alongside continued growth of flex space, while the investment market saw continued interest from overseas investors and focus on annuity deals. All markets saw a big drive towards sustainability.

For more content around the key trends and takeaways from the seminar presentation – download the report or watch videos below.

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