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Letting agent strikes gold

It's been a gold medal-winning start to the year for Birmingham's commercial property industry, which recorded the largest regional deal in the first quarter.

A 72,260 sq ft letting to the Commonwealth Games at Brindleyplace was the largest single letting to be recorded in any of the UK’s regional cities in the first three months of 2019.

The data, drawn from the latest Avison Young Big Nine report – which analyses office letting and investment activity across the UK’s nine largest regional cities – indicates a very encouraging start to the year for Birmingham.

Activity across both the out of town and city centre markets totalled 313,250 sq ft (split 194,014 sq ft and 119,236 sq ft respectively) in the first three months of 2019.

The figures were also bolstered by the sizeable letting of 46,750 sq ft to Irwin Mitchell at the Colmore Building, the completion of which marks the building as fully let.

Charles Toogood from Avison Young said: “This is the strongest start to the year since 2016 and is particularly encouraging as the first quarter of the year is generally considered the slowest for lettings activity.

“The two headline transactions to the Commonwealth Games and Irwin Mitchell mark the tip of the iceberg for the city this year, with expectation that 2019 could well be another year where we record over 1 million sq ft of transactional activity.”

Across the Big Nine, city centre office construction is also at its highest level since 2007, with more than 5 million sq ft currently under development, 20 per cent – or 1.2 million sq ft – of which is in Birmingham.

Charles Toogood continued: “While construction of new space is at its highest level since before the recession, in Birmingham over half of this is being delivered on a pre-let basis. However, Grade A availability is at its lowest point since 2005, which bodes well for speculative developments such as 2 Chamberlain Square at Paradise, and Three Snowhill.”

Demand is also strong in the out of town market, where more than 100,000 sq ft has been transacted for the third consecutive quarter. It’s been a particularly busy time for Birmingham Business Park, which saw serviced office provider MSO take 27,000 sq ft, and a further 12,000 sq ft let to engineering consultancy IPS.

Pictured: Charles Toogood from Avison Young

Laura Daly

Senior associate solicitor at Irwin Mitchell LLP

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