Early Q1 indications from officebroker.com suggest that the average cost per workstation could rise nationally for the first time since 2008 based on activity witnessed in the opening months of 2010.
Having fallen nationwide by an average of 16% quarter on quarter during 2009 according to officebroker.com’s comprehensive statistics, the prices recorded during January and February of 2010 could herald the first national increase in workstation prices for over 12 months – currently sitting 11% above the prices being achieved during the same period of 2009.
“I believe in some parts of the country we saw prices drop by as much as 40%” explains Business Centre Association (bca) Chair Julie Calder; “so in my view it (the officebroker.com data) shows that pricing has finally started to recover – although it still has some way to go”
Signs of an upswing in workstation costs will be welcomed by bca members, who during a series of recent meetings had been vocal about their concerns and the continuous struggle experienced over the last twelve months with low workstation prices.
“I think people are starting to believe we have passed the worst and they should get on with “business as usual” continues Julie Calder, “The serviced office sector generally follows the commercial property sector and so it’s no surprise that this slight recovery comes on the back of some increases in rents and investment values across the country. I guess people should be taking space now if they are looking for serviced offices!”
Jim Venables, co-founder and MD of officebroker.com was present at the recent bca meetings and is pleased with what the early data shows;
“Being able to say that Q1 has shown real signs of delivering a turn-around is satisfying and something I am sure will be welcomed” explains Jim, “We will still have to see how March performs and whether this can be sustained – but it is at least a positive”
The cautious optimism expressed by both the bca and officebroker.com was also reiterated by Sallie Maskrey of Portal Business Centres;
“The biggest issue we faced in 2009 as a business community here at Portal was the lack of confidence and negative news in the economy” continues Sallie, “The data from officebroker.com helps to underline that confidence is now stronger – but it still has some distance still to go”