Q1 2014 office take-up in the Thames Valley was less than half of take-up in Q4 2013 (Q1 2014: 305, 439 sq ft, Q4 2013: 653,892 sq ft) and there was a 22% decrease in office take-up in Q1 2014 when compared to Q1 2013 (Q1 2014: 320,439 sq ft, Q1 2013: 393,805 sq ft).
Woking was the only location with significant activity in Q1 with just under 120,000 sq ft transacted.
The 48,000 sq ft Vodafone deal at Green Park didn’t take place this year, which would have lifted Q1 2014 take-up in the Thames Valley to the same level as Q1 2013. Instead, there was a marked contrast this quarter between the heated investment market and the occupational market in the Thames Valley. Increasing investment is shifting from London to the Thames Valley, positioning itself for expected improvements, but the impact of these changes is taking longer to affect the local occupier market. The occupier market is improving, but it’s patchy and it’s not, as some might perceive, a bull market. But despite a slower than expected start to the year, there is a general consensus that Q2 2014 will be better for the Thames Valley.