UK Office Enquiries: Q2 Disappointing After Promising Start to the Year

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King Sturge’s latest UK office enquiries data hint that recent buoyancy in office demand may not be sustained. Figures for the quarter just ended show a decline in both the level (-12% quarter-on-quarter) and the number (-14%) of enquiries recorded across the office network.

But since mid-2009, office take-up has recovered strongly ahead of any sign of an upturn in enquiries. The concern is that much of the recent rise in demand could be transient and may fade in the harsher post-election climate.

UK Office Enquiries: Q2 disappointing after promising start to the year

King Sturge’s latest UK office enquiries data hint that recent buoyancy in office demand may not be sustained. Figures for the quarter just ended show a decline in both the level (-12% quarter-on-quarter) and the number (-14%) of enquiries recorded across the office network.

This is disappointing after a promising start to the year, though it repeats the pattern of the last 18 months when enquiries have failed to shift up from their trough.

“In the past, movement in enquiries has usually been reflected in take-up a few months later” according to Andrew Burrell, Head of Office Research at King Sturge. “But since mid-2009, office take-up has recovered strongly ahead of any sign of an upturn in enquiries. The concern is that much of the recent rise in demand could be transient and may fade in the harsher post-election climate.”

Not all UK centres have fared badly. The capital’s recovery continues to show in the data, with City and West End enquiries well up on a year ago, while the South East is also seeing healthier conditions. Outside of this, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Nottingham and, more recently, Bristol have shown signs of recovery.

But, overall, the concern will remain that until national activity is underpinned by a sustained improvement in requests for new space, there is a danger that it could fizzle out.

Notes to Editor:

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King Sturge is one of the largest international property consultancies in Europe. In the UK King Sturge owns 22 offices and in Continental Europe it operates 20 offices in 13 countries. Together they form part a worldwide network of over 215 wholly owned and associate offices in 47 countries. Over 3,800 staff throughout these offices cover all property sectors and specialisms including plant and machinery, and residential.
In Europe, King Sturge operates in the major UK commercial centres and principal mainland European cities. In Asia Pacific, the firm has associations in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand. In the Americas, King Sturge has business partners in North, Central and South America through King Sturge CORFAC International and ChainLinks Retail Advisors.

Through a joint venture with a wealth manager, King Sturge now has a presence in the Middle East. The office will initially be based in Dubai, concentrating on states in the Gulf Corporation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

News Release: NR 350

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Regis Jacquemin
King Sturge
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