Office & Industrial market update
We have moved
In October our Watford and Hemel based teams relocated to Kings Langley. The move was prompted by a desire for the Office & Industrial team to have even greater collaboration after a long 18 months of working from home. The new location has also given us much better access to our regional markets, speaking of which ee are very proud to share the news that our Regional Office & Industrial agency team came 3rd in the EG South East office rankings and 1st in the counties ranking for Hertfordshire for letting and occupational sales where the total space transacted was 175,978 Sq.ft.
The year has seen new record rents set for “A” grade offices in Watford and St Albans. These statistics are somewhat surprising when the office as a work tool seems to be equated with the spinning jenny.
The numbers are driven by businesses looking for;
- A better environment for their staff (so they can retain them and attract more).
- A more appropriately sized office or one that meets ESG criteria (Environmental, social and Governance).
Brasier Freeth have let just under 20,000 sq. ft to ENRA in the Hyde Clarendon Road at a new record rent, where the provision of bike racks, showers, barista style coffee offer, roof terraces, communal break out areas and a less corporate more homely environment were the clinching factor. ESG criteria (of the building and its owner) were also a factor. At the ASOS building in Leavesden where Skanska have taken 67,000 Sq.ft EV charging points were a key issue and in letting 4,200 Sq.ft to Schliech (a German owned toy company) we were able to reference amenity including, cafes, restaurants a gym and treatment rooms.
In contrast, the Hemel Hempstead office market has not fared so well. Take up to the end of Q3 2021 was a mere 31,171 Sq.ft in 11 transactions. Most were under 2,500 Sq.ft.
The largest transaction is the expansion of Intact Software into The Maylands Building, Maylands Avenue. It is our view that once the few deals in hand conclude the result for the year will be about 50% of the ten year average take up.
We are pleased to report continued good demand and confidence in the industrial sector. The main issue being the lack stock and new opportunities for sites. With rents marching across our region this has led to early occupier interest in the schemes which are on site or are coming forwards quickly with planning certainty.
One issue to contemplate for a landlord should they take the certainty during construction or keep their powder dry for PC when rents may have moved on again.