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LONDON-Office rents in Glasgow and Edinburgh are resilient despite weaker demand, according to new research from Atis Real Weatheralls. The latest Regional Capitals report shows that take-up for the first six months of the year reached 199,000 sf in Edinburgh, down from 215,000 sf for the same period last year. In Glasgow, 204,000 sf was let, against 250,000 sf in the first half of 2002.

Douglas Gardiner, regional head of agency at Atis Real Weatheralls, said: “A lack of occupier confidence is leading many businesses to put expansion or relocation programmes on hold. “Economic recovery since the end of the Iraq war has been weaker than expected and this has inevitably impacted on Scotland’s key office markets. Nevertheless, the situation is not as severe as experienced in London and the South East and we are still seeing deals being done.”

Atis Real Weatheralls puts headline Edinburgh rents steady at £27.50 ($45) per sf, while Glasgow rents are treading water at £23 ($38) per sf.

“Prime headline rents have been maintained over the past 12 months. However, increasingly deals are being secured with significant incentives such as rent-free periods and fit-out contributions. The underlying net effective rents have inevitably softened on the back of such inducements,” Gardiner said.

In Glasgow the completion of three developments: 200 Broomielaw; Optima at Robertson Street; and 6 Atlantic Quay, will bring an extra 270,000 sf to the market. Edinburgh has two major developments under construction due for completion this year: 28 St Andrew Square with 48,000 sf available and Holyrood Park House, totalling 47,000 sf. Waverley Gate, totalling 210,000 sf is due to complete in 2004.

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