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Office rents rise as university spin-outs seek space in Oxford

Oxford Commercial Property Agency News

Oxford commercial property agency working with commercial landlords and tenants. Start-ups to established businesses. Office, retail, industrial and leisure sectors. 

Office rents rise as university spin-outs seek space in Oxford

Amy Williams

OFFICE space demand from fast-growing Oxford University spin-out businesses have seen prime office rents in Oxford grow by 16.7 per cent in a year, new research has revealed.

Leading property consultants Bidwells look twice a year at the office market in the Oxfordshire region and its latest research has highlighted an unsatisfied demand for office space in Oxford’s city centre.

Rents hit £35 per square foot in the first half of 2018, with demand for office floor space now at record levels, with 1.2m sq ft of requirements from 68 registered occupiers.

Oxford University spin-out companies are expected to create around 500 extra jobs each year until 2025 and occupy at least 350,000 sq ft of office and laboratory space by that date.

David Williams, partner, of Business Space Agency at Bidwells, is predicting prime rents will hit £40 per sq ft by 2020.

He said: “Demand from fast-growing Oxford University spin-out businesses is at a three-year high and continues to apply upward pressure on rents in Oxford’s city centre, with prime rents growing steadily over the last five years.

“The Oxford city centre market is dictated by constrained supply created by a number of historical ownership and geographical factors. The impact of this constrained supply – combined with by a lack of new development - means we fully expect these rises to continue.”

Oxford University contributes £5.8 billion to the UK economy, generating more technology spin-outs than any other UK university and producing more start-ups than any other university in Europe over the past decade.

Mr Williams added: “The real challenge is to match supply with this newly-created demand.

“While it’s great the university’s innovation activities are achieving their goals, its value and impact will be diminished if the city is unable to accommodate the companies spawned by this innovation.” Read more here.

Photo by Sidharth Bhatia on Unsplash