Cardiff office lettings down by 24% but upward trend overall

2014 anomaly figures attributed to a number of one-off large deals

25 November 2015

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Office space lettings in Cardiff are down by 24% on this time last year, according to new figures released by Cooke & Arkwright's Office agency, but the numbers show an upward trend overall with key deals set for completion in the final quarter. The reduction in figures can be attributed to an exceptional year in 2014 and, when compared to 2013 figures, a continued increase in occupancy can be observed.

According to the data gathered as part of the Cardiff Commercial Property Forum take-up statistics, 300,902 sq ft of office space has been let so far this year, compared to 298,000 sq ft in total for 2013. Last year’s anomaly figure of 542,000 sq ft let can be attributed to a number of one-off large deals.

The figures also show that 101,000 sq ft of office space has been let in this quarter, compared to 144,000 sq ft in the last quarter, showing a decline of 30%.

Tim Lawley, an associate at Cooke & Arkwright specialising in office and industrial deals, said: “Although the figures are down on this point last year, it’s very difficult to compare the two. Last year was a very good year, with 542,000 sq ft of office space let overall, and to compare those figures with this year’s wouldn’t paint a full picture of the current market.

“There are a number of possible reasons why the figures are lower for 2015. There were a number of big deals that boosted the numbers last year, including a number of large deals were made at out-of-town sites, including Cardiff Gate, Green Meadow Springs, and the Eastern Business Park in St Mellons.”

He also suggested that the lower office space take up this year could be due to a lack of stock in Grade A office space.

Tim continued: “There are very few new office buildings available at the moment, but with plans for the BBC to take up 150,000 sq ft at Central Square nearing completion, as well as Public Health Wales committing to an additional 50,000 sq ft at 2 Capital Quarter, we expect a big boost to the numbers going forward.

“Despite the lower figures this year, the data shows that there is still an upward trend overall in Cardiff city centre and in out-of-town sites. Less than 300,000 sq ft of office space was let in 2013, and we have already surpassed that number this year. The data is very encouraging, and indicates that we are likely to see this upward trend continuing into 2016.”