Following a record high take up of over 2.1m sq ft in 2014, take up was 482,000 sq ft in Q1 2015, a 7% decrease from the same quarter in 2014. This decrease is fundamentally due to the shortage of good quality available stock along the M27 corridor. Q1 take up still compares favourably to the long term trend though – 25% up on the five yearly quarterly average of 387,000 sq ft.
The number of transactions in Q1 fell from 80 to 48 when compared with the same period last year, but it is noticeable that the average size of transaction in sq ft has increased by 47%.
Only three lettings of prime space occurred in Q1. This reflects the lack of availability, rather than a lack of occupier demand, with occupiers having to settle for modern quality second-hand buildings, albeit often following a good refurbishment.