Interest from businesses in Cardiff office space has increased

31 January 2017

A UK-wide survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has found demand for commercial property space in Wales is on the up.

Chris Sutton, Lead Director of the Cardiff branch of asset management firm JLL, which specialises in commercial real estate services, says confidence has risen again since the Brexit vote.

“What there initially was was an element of uncertainty about which way the economy was going to go and therefore people put investment plans on hold.  What’s happened now is that at the smaller end of the scale, things are moving again, and at the largest end of the scale there is some progress.”

Mr Sutton says that new developments, such as the HMRC building at Central Square, which could create 280,000 square feet of floor space for 400,000 employees, will improve the local economy.

But the survey also shows there is not enough supply to meet the demand for commercial spaces. Mr Sutton explains this could be because there are not enough new build properties outside of Central Square.

“If you’re looking at the employment floor-space available – that’s offices and industrial – so Cardiff is predominantly a service-sector economy: it’s offices. What we find is there’s an awful lot of older space and there is very little new space. If you look at Cardiff and South Wales, we’re only really looking at speculative development in maybe one square mile of our capital city.”

Demand from businesses to occupy office, retail and other commercial spaces in Wales rose to a net of 23 per cent between October and December last year.

This is an improvement on the second and third quarters of 2016 when there was a softening of demand after the EU Referendum.

There has also been an increase in the number of enquiries from potential investors.


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