Office take-up in Aberdeen has dropped almost 70% on last year, a real estate advisor firm has said.
CBRE has released its latest figures on the office market in Aberdeen for the second quarter of the year.
And the property firm said the sector has “not emerged unscathed” from the Covid-19 pandemic as buildings could not be viewed or surveyed during lockdown.
However, there was some positivity as a number of transactions were made in the city during this period.
In the second quarter (Q2) of 2020, office take-up was recorded as 32,847 square foot by CBRE, a drop of 69% on the same period last year.
So far in the first six months of the year, a total of 211,293 square foot of office space has been acquired by companies, which is up 42% compared to the first six months of 2019.
However, the firm said the quarter had a record low number of deals made, with eight transactions in the second quarter of the year.
This included the letting for Expro at Kirkhill House in Aberdeen Business Park at Dyce, as well as a let on the eighth floor of The Silver Fin Building.
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Derren McRae, managing director of CBRE’s Aberdeen office, said: “As we are seeing across various markets, take-up levels for Q2 in Aberdeen have been impacted by COVID-19 and the resultant effect on oil price.
“However, whilst there has only been 32,847 sq ft of office lettings in the quarter, two out of town office buildings totalling 124,663 sq ft were sold to investors/developers.
“Despite what people may expect to be challenging market conditions in the north-east, we are encouraged by the level of current market activity with five live requirements equating to approximately 370,000 sq ft of potential future take-up.”
It is expected that the volume of transactions will increase in the third quarter as the country exits lockdown, while accelerating further in the fourth quarter of the year.
Stewart Taylor, head of CBRE’s Scottish office agency business, added: “The offices sector, along with every other sector, has not emerged unscathed from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The figures are unsurprising, particularly as buildings couldn’t be viewed or surveyed. If anything, activity was actually better than expected.
“What has been encouraging is that despite an industry-wide debate on how we will work in the future, occupiers have continued to progress acquisitions and the last three weeks have seen a marked increase in the speed at which negotiations and deals are progressing.
“While offices in the future may look different and may be smaller than anticipated at the start of 2020, the desire to have an office base remains and in fact much of what we’re seeing is simply an acceleration of trends that were already occurring – a flight to the best quality space with the best wellness credentials.”