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Barbour ABI: office building in UK returns to pre-recession levels

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Office construction reached a post-recession peak in 1Q16, with over £2 billion worth of contracts awarded, the highest figure since 2008. This includes six major developments worth over £50 million.

According to the latest figures from industry analysts Barbour ABI on behalf of the Office for National Statistics, office construction new orders have been gradually increasing since 2012, where in the first quarter new orders were worth £890 million, compared to more than double in 1Q16.

Some of the major developments include Glasgow’s 122 Waterloo Street offices, 10 storeys high and worth £90 million, the £50 million Energis House in Reading and One Capital Square development in Cardiff worth £30 million.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, Lead Economist at Barbour ABI, said: “Office availability is at its lowest for 15 years across London, with many other parts of the UK in a similar position, due to below average office development since the recession. However this past quarter is encouraging with major developments spread right across the UK. There are major towns and cities such as Liverpool, Glasgow & Cardiff in vital need of more grade A office space. However Manchester in particular stands out, as it requires an extra 3 million ft2 of office space over the next ten years if it’s to keep up with the city’s forecasted economic growth. With the demand so high it is not surprising to see figures reach record post-recession levels, which I see continuing throughout 2016, barring any worries regarding the EU referendum that may stutter future progress.”

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