Activity in the South East’s office market seemed to hit something of a slump in 2017; while deals were still being made, with key transactions including the likes of technology business Fiserv acquiring 28,000 sq ft at Brockton, the opening of Landid’s new The Porter Building in Slough, and employee benefits group Grass Roots taking 44,000 sq ft at Westside in Hemel Hempstead, these deals were generally smaller in scale than those seen over previous years.

This is attributed by real estate advisor Savills to a number of factors, though uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote is given much of the blame for the apparent lack of corporate activity. Despite this, Savills said it expected a considerable uptick in 2018 as businesses are forced into making key property decisions they have until now put off in the hope of gaining further clarity beforehand.

The increased focus on happiness and wellbeing now rightfully spreading through the professional landscape also plays its part in the renewal of corporate activity, as companies begin to make the move into properties which better exemplify these ideals. As recruitment and retention look set to become increasingly difficult as competition in the job market increases, this will only become further pronounced over time.

Jon Gardiner, head of national offices at Savills, commented, “Whilst take-up in 2017 has been muted, we are confident that larger corporate occupiers will resume making decisions in 2018 and commit to new space.

“With a new impetus on wellness and fierce competition to both attract and retain staff, companies with tired, old and uninspiring accommodation are recognising the need to be located in modern office buildings that provide plenty of amenities.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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