With media coverage of the co-working trend and collaborative workspaces capturing the imagination of business, the flexible workspace sector has enjoyed its highest profile year yet. The seemingly unstoppable rise of WeWork, strong performance of Regus and large take-up of space from brands such as The Office Group have dominated the headlines, and the data behind the news confirms that executive suites are enjoying record demand from occupiers and a strong increase in workstation rates.
There was double digit growth in occupier inquiries for flexible workspace in 2015/16. The only area of the UK not to experience an increase in inquiries of more than 10 per cent was the capital itself, and London still enjoyed demand of nine per cent. The South East had the highest level of inquiries in the past year with the South West not far behind as the flexible workspace boom spreads from London to the markets outside the UK’s major cities.
The South East of England – excluding London – has led the way with increases in workstation rates as growth in occupier demand has seen a rapid response in pricing; one which has been exacerbated by relatively constrained growth in the supply of space, compared to the rest of the UK. Workstation rates across the country are increasing above the rate of inflation as demand outpaces supply, with the South East showing the largest increases of 10 per cent.
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