Property agency Vail Williams has been ranked number one in the annual M27 Corridor offices league table for the second consecutive year, with 160,285 sq ft of office space sold or let in the area.
The firm, which covers both Portsmouth and Southampton, recorded 160,285 sq ft of office sales and lettings over 12 months – over half of the 333,206 sq ft total sales by property agencies in the time frame.
Estates Gazette, the UK commercial property magazine, compiled the annual Radius Data Exchange M27 Corridor league table from deals recorded from September 2019 to August 2020.
Vail Williams completed 18 deals at an average size of 8,905 sq ft.
Nik Cox leads Vail Williams’ business space team for the Solent region, working from Lakeside North Harbour business campus in Portsmouth and Ocean Village in Southampton.
He said: “Thanks to our team’s deep knowledge of the Solent region and what the market wants, we have been able to repeatedly deliver for landlords and occupiers.
“Vail Williams’ deals accounted for 42% of the total office space taken.
“Clearly the pandemic, with two national lockdowns to date, has impacted upon activity. But, as was the case with the global financial crash of 2008-9, shrewd companies look beyond current events. This long-term view has led to enquiries for Grade A office space, which exceed pre-pandemic levels.
“Businesses are searching for upgraded facilities with extra space around each employee, due to social distancing requirements, and quality drop-in hubs for remote workers. However, there is already a limited supply of Grade A workspace in Southampton and Portsmouth, so some employers looking to relocate may find themselves behind the curve. It is also worth remembering that offices remain a vital hub for the sharing of ideas, connections, brand, business performance and socialising. There are some employees who are struggling in cramped space at home, desperate to once again commute and return to some semblance of business normality.”
Due to the slowdown in activity caused by the pandemic, office deals activity was down by 29% compared to the previous 12 months.
Vail Williams, which merged with commercial property consultancy Fareham-based Hughes Ellard two years ago, also topped the leaderboard with 261,685 sq ft in 2018/19.