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Office property market back to pre-covid levels

The Agency team at Vickery Holman are reporting activity levels in the office market which are at ‘Pre-Covid levels’. According to Head of Agency Joanne High, good office space is being snapped up at levels not seen since 2020. ‘The office market in Plymouth isn’t necessarily as developed as in Exeter, but we’ve been surprised by the sudden increase in demand in the last couple of months. ‘ The team have just completed on two deals at Argosy House at Marsh Mills with a number of other deals being agreed across the City and in solicitors hands. ‘Tenants are actively seeking office accommodation of a high standard and with good EPC ratings. Energy efficiency and the EPC rating of a building has now become a consideration for a number of tenants, which is a marked change from a few years ago.’ Explains Joanne High, Head of Agency at Vickery Holman. ‘We’re also seeing a very active market at the larger end of the industrial sector, for example on a 60,000 sq ft unit at Langage.’

The picture in Cornwall reflects the one further East. Alan Treloar, Director of agency, has been working in and around Truro for many years. ‘New builds take a while to be established here, but once they are, they go like hot potatoes. We’ve managed around twelve lettings at Helston Business Park in the last three years as an example; it has become a popular place to be based and space there is now in short supply. The picture in Cornwall is encouraging. We’re seeing activity across the region in all markets, from office to leisure.’ Mr Treloar added.

In Exeter, a crippling shortage of quality office stock in the city centre is seeing businesses pushed out to out-of-town parks like Winslade Park, which offers more than just high quality office stock. ‘Enticing tenants in with gyms and restaurants is probably something we’re going to see increasing.’ Says Zach Maiden, Head of Exeter Office. ‘Over time, I expect some repurposing of empty property in Exeter might ease the situation but only if they do a good refit. Rising build costs have not encouraged developers to invest in new offices.’

It’s not just the office market which is performing well. Retail units in good locations continue to do well. ‘We’ve just completed the letting of The Quay in Kingsbridge to St Luke’s Hospice who are fitting out at the moment. Units within coastal and market towns continue to perform well across the South West.’ Commented Mrs High.