By Ian McConnell

TAKE-UP of office space in Glasgow city centre in the third quarter was, at 250,659 sq ft, up sharply on the 10-year average of 165,043 sq ft, a report by Avison Young shows.

The real-estate adviser said its research shows “momentum has significantly increased over the past three months”.

It added: “This comes as occupiers reassess their office needs and target appropriately sized and flexible spaces, introduce hybrid working styles, and look to improve the overall quality of the workspace ahead of a full return to office towards the end of 2021 and [in] early 2022.”

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Avison Young predicted that, in spite of the national lockdown earlier in 2021, the take-up of city-centre office space for the full year will likely reach around 550,000 sq ft. It said this would be “close to the city-centre 10-year average take-up of 661,000 sq ft”.

It added: “This is exceptional considering the office market, and wider communities, were in full lockdown for most of the first half of 2021.”

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Avison Young cited “similar substantial demand” for out-of-town office space around Glasgow, with a take-up of 131,960 sq ft, up sharply on the 10-year average of 81,055 sq ft.

Paul Broad, director and head of business space in Scotland for Avison Young, said: “It is very apparent that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and every building specification and every occupier requirement, is uniquely different. The improved Q3 take-up tells a small part of the story, as businesses slowly return to the office, or are preparing to return to offices, in Glasgow. However, this is just the first chapter and as our markets begin to fully open up we predict that there will be a further increase in activity and a rapid evolution of ‘the office’ in Glasgow, across Scotland and the UK.

“We have been extremely active advising landlords and occupiers on their next generation developments and office acquisitions. This has involved working alongside Avison Young’s sustainability experts to try and future proof office space for the net zero carbon evolution of real estate.”

Alison Taylor, managing director of Avison Young in Glasgow, said: “We expect activity to remain buoyant across all sectors of the market for some time as many occupiers, who have pledged to commit to the UK’s 68% carbon reduction commitment by 2030 realise they cannot necessarily accomplish this in their existing office accommodation. Typically, older or poorly specified offices will need comprehensive refurbishments and upgrades to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions."