Editor: Your recent article ‘Over 1,000 companies to open new post-Brexit offices in UK’ is further evidence that Brexit-related doom and gloom in the UK property market has been misplaced. The evidence indicates that the UK is still open for business – and the office sector especially looks set to capitalise.
Underpinned by the strong fundamentals unchanged by Brexit, including robust ownership laws, the ‘Boris bounce’ has cleared up uncertainty for those considering a commitment to UK office property. With concerns over high taxes and increased red tape now abating, the industry is set to benefit from the more favourable environment for development and investment.
The signs are promising. In 2018 alone, London saw greater volumes of commercial real estate investment than any other global city, with more than £16bn of deals, despite uncertainty about Brexit. Regional office markets also remain strong, with higher yields presenting an increasingly compelling proposition to investors. Deal volumes in the UK’s eight biggest regional markets hit £4.6bn in 2018.
The strength of the office market is partly fuelled by the flexible office boom, which is not just a passing fad. Powerful economic and business behavioural shifts are driving demand away from conventional to serviced office space.
As firms look for temporary UK bases while the terms of the Brexit deal are fleshed out, flexible office space is an attractive proposition, offering companies of all sizes HQ-standard workspace on agile and scaleable terms.
So it’s no surprise that flexible office providers are expanding – and fast. Recent research predicts that between 2018 and 2022, volumes of flexible space will have grown 56%. So demand clearly continues unabated for UK office space and we have every reason be optimistic about its future.
Giles Fuchs, chief executive, Office Space in Town