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LONDON-The UK’s regional office markets have remained relatively stable in the last six months according to the latest report from DTZ. Although the take-up of office space in the last six months was down 5% on the previous six months at 3.91 million sf, activity is in line with the longer term average.

There were variations in take-up between cities, however, with take-up doubling in Cardiff, up by a third in Manchester and with increasing activity in Glasgow and Leeds also. But in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Nottingham take-up fell.

Overall, the availability of space increased by 4% in the ten major UK markets outside of London. But generally availability remains low with vacancies as low as 3% of total office stock in some city centres. And with a general lack of speculative development, this situation is not likely to change.

The shortage of supply is pushing up prime rents in Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle and Nottingham. Rents remain stable in other cities with the exception of Edinburgh where rents have fallen slightly.

William Jackson, DTZ’s National Offices Co-ordinator, said: “The dynamics of the major regional office markets are fairly stable. Although there has been a marginal rise in available accommodation, the amount which is newly built or refurbished is low and the speculative pipeline remains subdued. There is therefore unlikely to be a surfeit of this accommodation overhanging the market.”

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