Commercial rents in Oxford hit new high

Warren Lewis
24th July 2018

New data has revealed that prime office rents in Oxford have soared by 16.7% in a year due to a recent surge of fast-growing Oxford University spin-out businesses.

According to the research by property consultants, Bidwells, rents hit £35 per square foot in the first half of 2018 with demand for office floor space now at record levels, with 1.2m sq ft of requirements from 68 registered occupiers.

Oxford University spin out companies are expected to create around 500 extra jobs each year until 2025 and occupy at least 350,000 sq ft of office and laboratory space by then.

David Williams, Partner Business Space Agency at Bidwells, is predicting prime rents will hit £40 per sq ft by 2020.

He said: “Demand from fast-growing Oxford University spin-out businesses is at a three-year high and continues to apply upward pressure on rents in Oxford’s city centre, with prime rents growing steadily over the last five years.

The Oxford city centre market is dictated by constrained supply created by a number of historical ownership and geographical factors. The impact of this constrained supply – combined with by a lack of new development - mean we fully expect these rises to continue.”

The University of Oxford contributes £5.8 billion to the UK economy, generating more technology spin outs than any other UK University and producing more start-ups valued in excess of $1 billion - more than any other university in Europe over the past decade.

Williams added: “The real challenge is to match supply with this newly-created demand. While it's great the University’s innovation activities are achieving their goals, its value and impact will be diminished if the city is unable to accommodate the companies spawned by this innovation.”

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