The Thames Valley office occupational market is strong while the investment market is difficult.

According to King Sturge’s latest Thames Valley offices research there are ‘two sides’ to the story of the credit crunch .

Investment market 'cautious'

While the investment market is, according to the research, 'cautious and patchy’, King Sturge found that the occupational market in the Thames Valley is strong.

The research showed that take-up for the first three quarters of the year already exceeded the five-year average of 1.5m sq ft, and predicted that the 2m sq ft mark would be hit by the end of the year, despite the fact that no pre-lets were recorded in the third quarter.

Take-up increased by 171%

Take-up increased by 171% on the third quarter last year, to 543,000 sq ft in Q3 2007.

The research also found that the Thames Valley’s traditional occupier by sector – the telecoms, media and telecommunications sector – had been overtaken by the industry sector, including deals with Cadburys at Uxbridge Business Park.

Vacancy rate down

King Sturge also found that availability had fallen to a vacancy rate of 9.5%, with 13 buildings under construction to plug the gap representing 732,000 sq ft.

The majority of speculative development was found in Maidenhead, where seven of the buildings under construction are located.