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News - 08/03/2016

A Tale of Two Cities: market trends in Cardiff and Swansea

Lambert Smith Hampton's latest Office Pulse data, covering Q4 2015, highlights the differences across the two cities' business districts.

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The data, which provides investors, occupiers and developers with detailed insight across a number of UK office markets, highlights that both Cardiff and Swansea have positive, although different, stories to tell.

The capital has enjoyed a boom in the last quarter of the year, marking its strongest performance since 2011, according to the report. The upturn was driven in part by large transactions such as the move of the BBC to new headquarters in the city centre.

Kate Simpson, Agency Associate Director, said: “The construction of a five storey media centre at the heart of the city was the most notable deal we handled last year but there was also a significant increase in transactions overall, some 25% higher compared to the previous year."

“There is heightened energy in Cardiff and we expect positive things from 2016 as much sought after Grade A space becomes available in One Central Square and No 2 Capital Quarter.”

The upturn in Swansea has not proved as dramatic, although Tom Rees, of LSH’s Swansea-based Agency team says there is reason to feel confident. “Although the final quarter’s take-up of 112,00 sq ft fell short of the city’s total of last year at 118,000sq ft, it is important to recognise that the year ended 5% higher than the 10-year average,” he explained.

Rees added: “We are confident about the prospects for the year ahead; prominent city centre buildings such as Alexandra House have seen a surge of occupancy, now standing at 80%.

“Landlords are reflecting that confidence too with speculative refurbishments underway, including West Glamorgan House and Epona House.”