CBRE has said Scotland’s largest city is leading the way in office recovery north of the Border.

The news comes as the real estate advisor releases its latest figures on the office markets in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen during the third quarter of 2021.

Stewart Taylor, head of CBRE’s Scottish advisory and transactions business, said: “Despite the fact that Scotland isn’t as far down the lockdown exit road as its English neighbour, the office markets in each of the three principal cities are showing encouraging signs of recovery, with Glasgow leading the way.

“Each of the markets have quite distinct characteristics but the general trends are the same with occupiers considering reducing their footprints and increasing quality.

“The larger corporates are moving quickly through a period of analysis to determine what they will look like in the future with their strategies likely to emerge in early 2022.”

Take-up for the Glasgow office market totalled 289,209 sq ft in the third quarter of the year, the highest quarterly total since Q4 2019 and a 234% increase from Q3 2020.

A total of 44 deals were transacted during the quarter, three of which were over the 20,000 sq ft mark. The largest letting was The Student Loans Company’s 75,000 sq ft pre-let of space at Buchanan Wharf. Atkins acquired 21,630 sq ft at the recently completed 2 Atlantic Square and there were also two notable pre-lets at 177 Bothwell Street, with both CBRE and AECOM agreeing to take space in the brand-new office development.

Office take-up in Edinburgh totalled 145,864 sq ft in the third quarter of 2021. Although this is down 7.9% from Q2 2021 and 31.07% against the Q3 five-year average, it is 62.8% up from Q1 2021 showing further recovery to the market as restrictions are lifted.

Notable deals included the short-term 50,000 sq ft sub-letting of Elgin House, RSM’s 7,346 sq ft letting at 2 Semple Street, pictured, and Huawei acquiring an additional 3,861 sq ft also at 2 Semple Street in a deal in which CBRE acted on behalf of the landlord.

Encouragingly there was also activity in West Edinburgh with The Scottish Prison Service taking 21,575 sq ft at 1 Lochside Avenue and Go For Finance taking 1,550 sq ft at 3 Lochside Way. As stock falls in the city centre and prime rents grow further, West Edinburgh increasingly offers an attractive alternative for certain businesses moving forward.

With 51,316 sq ft transacting across 13 deals, up 96% from the previous three months, recovery was evident this past quarter in the Aberdeen office market.

Notable deals in the third quarter include Mental Health Aberdeen’s purchase of Langstane House, Sport Aberdeen taking 7,597 sq ft at The Bridge of Don and DeepOcean sub-letting 7,330 sq ft at Prime Four in a deal in which CBRE advised on.

Glasgow wholesaler aims to double in size

Building staff engagement and pride in being part of the business will drive food and drink wholesaler JW Filshill’s plans to double in size by 2031, its chief executive Simon Hannah has said.

Speaking to Lord Willie Haughey and Sir Tom Hunter on The Go Radio Business Show , Mr Hannah – the fifth generation of his family to run the independent firm based at Hillington – said: “Having stability and confidence that there is a plan post-Covid was really important to the business.”

Battles over flexible working threaten exodus of millions

Employers are facing even further labour headaches as a new study has suggested that up to 16 million UK workers are considering changing jobs within the next six months, including more than 10 million who intend to do so by the end of this year.

The survey of 1,500 employees by private insurance provider Westfield Health uncovered a “widespread sense of unrest” across the workforce, with more than half considering a change and a third saying that a move is imminent. 

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