Flexible co-working spaces are dominating office take-up in Birmingham’s city centre, showing office spaces are modernising and changing with the times.
In the second quarter of 2019, office take-up totalled 320,595 sq ft across 30 transactions in Birmingham, according to research by commercial property agents KWB. During the first half of the year, 514,609 sq ft of office space was snapped up. Office take-up predominately happened in the city centre across a variety of sectors, including transport, property, finance and IT.
WeWork, a company that offers collaborative co-working spaces, entered the Birmingham office space market and dominated the quarter. In three deals, WeWork took up almost 230,000 sq ft of office space. The leases are thought to be for 15 years and are the largest commitment made by a company in a single quarter in the Birmingham office market since records began.
These numbers show the growth of serviced offices in Birmingham’s city centre. WeWork and other co-working spaces are known for their focus on lifestyle. Many of the offices include amenities like break-out areas, free bars and snooker tables. Providing a unique collaborative community, co-working spaces often attract businesses and individuals in a variety of sectors under the same roof.
As more young professionals are interested in build-to-rent accommodation offering amenities and creating communities, many are likely to expect similar features in office space as well. Flexible office space providers like WeWork are likely to become more and more popular while the dynamics of the modern workplace continue to change.
As Birmingham is seeing an uptake in more office space, the powerhouse of the Midlands is also seeing a boom in the build-to-rent sector. This is likely due to the growing population of young people and the plethora of work opportunities in the city. More job opportunities are continuing to come to Birmingham, which is expected to continue to attract more young professionals and new businesses to the city.
A recent report revealed there’s a clear link between areas with strong employment growth and property price rises. Over the past three years, Birmingham has seen a 12% increase in employment levels and a 23% rise in house prices. As more employment opportunities come to Birmingham, it’s likely to positively impact the city’s housing market and office market, creating a city that’s booming in a variety of sectors.