With both office and industrial take up down in 2018, the growth in science & technology requirements has been the story of the year in Oxfordshire.
A report by consultants VSL & Partners on the county’s commercial property market for 2018 shows that while both office and industrial take up fell by 35 per cent last year, the proportion of industrial space taken by the science and technology sector more than doubled to 65 per cent.
The drop in take up follows a 10-year high in 2017. Supply in 2018 dropped marginally.
VSL director Richard Venables said: “The most striking change is the amount of space taken up by the science and technology sector in the industrial sector which has increased from 23 per cent in 2017 (266,000 sq ft) to 65 per cent (486,000 sq ft) in 2018. In the office sector this has remained steady at around 65 per cent.
“These figures continue to show the importance of this sector but also how science can adapt to all types of property. Industrial units often provide a more flexible and cost-effective solution allowing for an easier fit out.
“Many of the technology spin out company’s desire to stay in the centre of Oxford for access to university departments and employees. We are now finding that they are prepared to look further afield to the ring road and beyond.
“Ultimately this is dictated by the fact that there simply isn’t the stock available in the centre of Oxford and any new schemes are still some years away.”
But the report notes that the co-working revolution has not taken off in the city because of the lack of stock.
Rare examples include The Foundry but it is reserved for university students.
However rents in general have continued to rise and VSL forecasts more growth in science and technology. The report points out that a number of deals were put into solicitors hands in December.
The report, an annual publication by VSL, looked at central Oxford and the A34 ‘Innovation Knowledge Corridor’ for offices from 3,000 sq ft and above and industrial from 5,000 sq ft and above.