Edinburgh office market enjoys buoyant sentiment after strong end to 2021
Nearly 580,000 square feet of downtown office space was leased last year, up 150% from 2020, independent commercial real estate consultancy Knight Frank has calculated – adding that the latest quarter of 2021 saw 268,640 square feet of take-up compared to 99,321 in the same period of 2020.
The average transaction size in Scotland’s capital rose to more than 5,000 square feet as occupiers sought more space, with new Class A space continuing to shrink, said Knight Frank, who reported a series of pre- rentals agreed to Haymarket. Edinburgh including Cairn Energy and law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn, which were announced in December.
Scottish hospitality sector sees surge in investment
Professional services and technology, media and telecommunications were the most active sectors, according to the new study, accounting for 12% and 31% of participation respectively last year – and sports betting tech giant FanDuel , founded in Edinburgh, agreed to take nearly 60,000 square feet at 2 Freer Street in Fountainbridge was the biggest deal of the year.
Simon Capaldi, Office Agency Partner at Knight Frank Edinburgh, said: “Last year saw a strong final quarter, with a host of deals completed. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Edinburgh office market has shown resilience throughout.
“We’re also starting to see the long-discussed flight to quality, with more occupiers moving to high quality and more [environmental, social, and governance]- friendly space, such as 1 Haymarket Square. We expect this trend to continue in 2022 as more occupiers seek out their property to reflect their sustainability commitments, business values and increased focus on staff wellbeing. .
“There is a very positive feeling at the start of the year, Edinburgh being a even more desirable place to live and work. Our research has shown it to be among the best cities in Europe for quality of life and well-being – and that only seems to remain the case.
Knight Frank said earlier this week that industrial and retail warehousing sites were the biggest investments in Scottish commercial property, but said he expected office investment to pick up again this year as as more and more people begin to return to workplaces and travel restrictions ease.