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LONDON-Despite a fall in demand, prime rents are stable across the Birmingham office market, according to the latest Regional Centres report from Atis RealWeatheralls. While London and the South East continue to see falling rents, in Birmingham they have held up over the past six months and remain at £27.50 ($46) per sf.

Ann Pedrick-Moyle, associate director and head of office agency at Atis Real Weatheralls, said: “Prime rents have remained relatively stable due to a limited supply of grade A space, although increasingly deals are being secured with increasing incentives including rent-free periods and fit-out contributions.”

Take-up in Birmingham for the first six months of 2003 reached 176,000 sf significantly lower than the 276,000 sf recorded over the same period in 2002. Just 42,139 sf was let in quarter one, but this improved significantly in quarter two to 134,000 sf

. Pedrick-Moyle said that in the medium term Birmingham could well benefit from the study currently being undertaken into further Government decentralisation. “While the final results of this study will not be known before the end of the year, the Treasury has indicated that 20,000 civil service jobs could be moved out of Central London and the South East and it makes sense to relocate some of these services to the second city,” she said.

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