As reported in our Autumn 2013 update demand for offices in Northampton continues to improve. Take up during the past year was significantly ahead of any previous year since 2008 and we are now faced with a real shortage of Grade A office space. The problem has to an extent been exacerbated by a number of fringe town centre office buildings having been ‘lost’ to alternative uses during the depths of the recession. Stirling House on Cliftonville was bought by the County Council and converted to a school and Spencer House almost opposite was demolished and redeveloped into a new care home by Avery Healthcare. These two deals alone removed over 31,000 sq ft from the market. Plans by Kier Property to develop over 200,000 sq ft of new Grade A space in Northampton’s Enterprise Zone are therefore to be welcomed.
Prime office rents remain at circa £13 per sq ft but continued demand and an increasing shortage of quality stock will inevitably begin to push rents higher at some point in the near future.
One of the most significant recent office deals has been the letting of Elgin House to Hewitsons Solicitors. The detached building situated on Billing Road, which is one of Northampton’s prime town centre office locations, totals in excess of 13,000 sq ft and was fully refurbished prior to Hewitsons taking occupation in January 2014.