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23/06/2016

Office building returns to pre-recession levels – research

Words: Laura Edgar
Office construction / Shutterstock_77042365

Office construction in the UK has reached a post-recession peak, according to new research.

Over £2 billion worth of contracts were awarded, which, the industry analysts Barbour ABI said, is the highest figure since 2008, including six major developments worth over £50 million.

The figures, compiled by Barbour ABI on behalf of the Office for National Statistics, suggest office construction new orders have been gradually increasing since 2012.

In the first quarter of 2012, new orders were worth £890 million, compared to more than double in the first quarter of 2016, Barbour ABI explained.

Some of the major developments include Glasgow’s 122 Waterloo Street offices, which is worth £90 million, the £50 million Energis Housing in Reading and One Capital Square development in Cardiff, worth £30 million.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said office availability is at its “lowest for 15 years” across London, with many other parts of the UK in a similar position due to the “below average office development” since the recession.

“There are major towns and cities such as Liverpool, Glasgow and Cardiff in vital need of more grade A office space. However, Manchester in particular stands out, as it requires an extra three million square feet of office space over the next 10 years if it’s to keep up with the city’s forecasted economic growth.

“With the demand so high it is not surprising to see figures reach record post-recession levels, which I see continuing throughout 2016, barring any worries regarding the EU referendum that may stutter future progress.”

Image credit | Shuttershock

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