Reports of death of offices exaggerated, says Burley Browne

Men in an office

The West Midlands office market is bouncing back strongly as the UK continues to follow the roadmap out of lockdown, according to commercial property agents Burley Browne.

Several lettings, totaling 17,000 sq ft, have recently been agreed by the West Midlands-based property experts in areas including Lichfield, Knowle, Droitwich and Sutton Coldfield, with more deals in the pipeline.
 
Surveyor Steve Hannaford said: “It’s very pleasing to see that the office market is improving and is in contrast to the predictions made in 2020 that offices would become redundant with the move to more flexible and home-working. 
 
“Since mid-February, when the roadmap was announced, we have seen enquiries pick up significantly from all types of occupiers looking for space including those who are new businesses, relocating to better quality offices and those looking to expand their services.”
 
Amongst them are small businesses that are bucking the economic downturn caused by the pandemic and driving demand for office space.
 
Lettings completed in the past month include a relocation of a care company to 1,300 sq ft offices in Tamworth town centre and the relocation of a property services occupier to 1,680 sq ft in Lichfield from Rugeley. In addition, an established office occupier has agreed  a lease on 3,300 sq ft of offices at the established Lichfield South office development on the A5 Wall Island near Lichfield. Other office deals provisionally agreed include 850 sq ft in Droitwich to a well-established healthcare operator which is  relocating its office and administration side of the business.
 
“Whilst there are some signs of businesses looking to downsize and those still working from home, it is really encouraging to see  on the flip side there are many people looking for office space and enquiries are really looking up in the 500 sq ft to 3,000 sq ft sector. It is a good early indicator that confidence is returning to the market,” adds Hannaford.
 
Burley Browne is one of the West Midlands’ leading independent commercial property consultants. It provides a comprehensive range of commercial property services to a wide variety of clients. Theseinclude private individuals and small businesses, through to pension funds, banks, property investors and developers, multi-national companies and national retail and leisure operators.