Bidwells launches its latest Our View on Offices and Labs research. Bidwells estimate 22% of the UK’s science park space is located in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. Take up in the office and laboratory markets continue to exceed historic trend levels, with an increasing proportion of this space absorbed by knowledge intensive businesses.
Activity in and around the Norwich market remains restricted by supply, leaving take-up at trend levels. This belies the scale of underling demand which now stands at a three year high, with availability below 5%.
The first half of 2019 saw take-up in Milton Keynes already exceed that achieved in 2018 as a whole, helped in part by Amazon’s pre-let of Altitude at Magna Park. Overall, 1.1m sq ft were let in Milton Keynes over the last six months, pushing down the availability rate to 7%.
Knowledge intensive businesses accounted for 50% of occupier activity in H1 2019. As the production of the new e-Mini gets underway at Cowley, Andretti Autosport has relocated its Formula E team to Banbury. Adding to this Oxford Nanopore started production at its new 34,500 sq ft facility at Harwell.
Bidwells activity in the wider East Anglia market reached a new high in H1 2019 with over 2m sq ft let or purchased, including Huawei’s new R&D manufacturing facility at Sawston, Cambridge for a new R&D manufacturing company.
Despite London continuing to dominate Europe’s tech investment activity, take up in the London office market fell below trend for the first time in two years, driven by stock shortages. In the West End supply now stands at its lowest level in a decade.
Norwich saw availability fall to 4.5% during H1 2019; its lowest level since 2007. Take-up remains at trend levels but the shortage of new floorspace coming forward is taking its toll on occupier choice in the city, particularly for Grade A space.