Edinburgh office market roars in 2021

Takeover of office space in Edinburgh city center has rebounded to approach pre-pandemic levels last year, according to new figures.

Analysis by estate agent Knight Frank found that 577,532 square feet of office space was let in the center of Scotland’s capital in 2021.

The tally was 150% before 2020, when just 230,881 square feet was let as the UK entered its first nationwide lockdown and people started working from home from March this year. There was a notable increase in the fourth quarter of last year, when 268,640 square feet were let, up 171% from the same period of 2020, when 99,321 square feet were let. However, the total for 2021 was just below the takeover seen in 2019, before the pandemic, when nearly 650,000 square feet were leased.

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 are also starting to see the much-discussed flight to quality, with more occupiers moving to high-quality, more ESG-friendly spaces, like 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. .

Knight Frank said the stock of Grade A new build space continued to decline, highlighting a string of pre-lettings in Haymarket Edinburgh. announced in December.

The average transaction size in the city has risen to more than 5,000 square feet as occupants seek more space, the agent added.

Professional services and technology, media and telecommunications were the most active sectors, accounting for 12% and 31% of take-up respectively last year. FanDuel’s commitment to nearly 60,000 square feet at 2 Freer Street was the biggest deal of the year in the city.

Mr Capaldi added: “There is a very positive feeling at the start of the year, with Edinburgh an 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 should only remain the case.

Jose C. Birney