Market snapshot

Office Market Pulse M1 Corridor Q4 2012

Although official figures show that the UK economy shrunk in Q4 2012, the M1 Corridor's office market is showing signs of improved activity.

In this issue:

Improved market activity

Although there were no transactions of 5,000 sq ft+ plus in out of town campus locations, Q4 take-up in central Milton Keynes fared well in comparison with the same period in 2011. During 2012, Milton Keynes saw a 44% conversion rate of requirements translating into lettings.

Northampton saw an increase in take-up during Q4 with a total figure of 62,703 sq ft; a stronger end to the year than had been anticipated, and an increase in take-up in comparison with the same period in 2011 (44,682 sq ft). The majority of take-up was below 5,000 sq ft. Enquiry levels remain consistent which, combined with a number of lettings in the pipeline, represents improved market confidence.

Luton & Dunstable saw a 7,414 sq ft increase in take-up during Q4. The vast majority of take-up in the town centre is between 1,000 - 2,000 sq ft. There was no activity in the out of town market.

For a breakdown of take-up across the M1 Corridor please click here.

Significant occupational transactions


Property Size  Landlord(s)  Tenant/Purchaser  Lease information 
Milton Keynes
7,500 sq ft XLB Inchcape

10 year term

£16.25 per sq ft

900 Pavilion Drive 8,612 sq ft Threadneedle Investment SSL Claims

10 year term

£13.50 per sq ft

2 Dunstable Road     7,414 sq ft  Confidential  Apple Security  Freehold purchase 


Increased refurbishment of secondary space

Milton Keynes has seen an increase in availability with 90,000 sq ft bought to the market at MK:Central following Network Rail's relocation to a grade A purpose built HQ. All space transacted in Q4 was refurbished, reflecting occupier demand for the best quality stock.

Luton & Dunstable saw increased availability and continued tenant demand for out of town areas where there is more quality accommodation. We expect increasing amounts of town centre space to be converted to alternative uses such as residential or community uses during the year, especially given the Government's recent announcement on the relaxation of planning controls. Read more here.

The majority of take-up in Northampton was close to the town centre with a number of smaller size transactions completing. Out of town business parks saw greater occupier interest, with space that has been on the market for over 12 months being let. Despite improved take-up, availability has increased to circa 580,000 sq ft, with just poor quality stock remaining. With no new builds on the horizon, occupiers are now considering alternatives and landlords are increasingly refurbishing older stock.

For a breakdown of availability across the M1 Corridor click here.

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