The pandemic has dramatically changed the UK’s ways of working, especially within the office sector of commercial property. Post-pandemic, there is no ‘normal’ structure to a typical working week.
Most businesses seem keen to entice workers back to their desks or workplaces with many bosses having hoped the end of the summer holidays would bring more staff back, whether this is on a full-time or hybrid working.
However, this can be met with friction by many employees who want to retain the flexible remote-working patterns they’ve grown accustomed to since the pandemic started back in 2020.
According to property consultancy Remit, in the first full working week of September the daily average number of employees in England and Wales working from the office hit its highest level since May 2021. But that high was just 31%.
Some recent reports have now suggested that as economic conditions change, employers will have the upper hand when agreeing on a new working structure. This will ultimately lead to further pressure to a return to the office.
For a balance to be struck, employers are now beginning to recognise that they will need to offer an attractive place to work to encourage staff back.
With the investor and owner occupier focus being squarely on the industrial market over recent years, the office market has been overlooked. Perhaps this sector was predicted to be too volatile or weak to sustain long-term security and value.
Given the current changes within the UK economy, together with the sharply rising energy prices, higher interest rates, and general cost of living pressures, there is understandably some caution within the market generally.
We’ve been working to understand this new way of working and are delighted to have seen, over recent months an uplift in sales and lettings within the office sector. This suggests that despite ‘head winds’ the office market is recovering.
Nolan Redshaw have seen numerous transactions of office accommodation namely, 25,000 Sq Ft freehold disposal of Ellen House, Oldham. 8,308 Sq Ft letting of Cedar house, Rochdale and the 4,800 Sq Ft letting of Prodware House, Bury.
This newfound confidence has resulted in a series of new build and refurbishment office schemes. Nolan Redshaw is instructed on behalf of two high profile clients to let schemes in both Hollinwood and Skelmersdale.
Annie Kenney Mill is the first of a multi-phase development in Hollinwood and will encompass a total of 20,000 square foot of office space over three floors with completion being Q1 2023.
The Mills scheme will provide quality offices never seen before in Oldham. They are aimed at the best companies “flight to quality”.
Phase 2 of Maple Court, Skelmersdale is an exclusive office development at Whitemoss Business Park. These units are being fully refurbished and again will be ready in Q1 2023 with sizes from 4,930 – 14,789 Sq. ft.
Below are a series of office transactions completed over the last 2 months by Nolan Redshaw and are indicative of the recovering office market in North Manchester and the Northwest generally.
Bank House, Bury.
958 sq ft
Prodware House, Bury.
4,740 sq ft
Link House, Bury.
9,406 sq ft
Ellen House, Oldham.
24,817 sq ft
Newsham House, Bury
2,856 sq ft
Sandringham House, Pilsworth.
2,792 sq ft
Bank House, Walshaw
3,219 sq ft
Cedar House, Rochdale.
8,308 sq ft
Beecham Court, Wigan
9,978 sq ft