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Serviced Office Space - UK Market Review 2015

We have analysed our enquiries and bookings data for the last 12 months to see what has changed in the Serviced Office market in 2015, and what trends have emerged.

UK serviced office statistics 2015

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Serviced Office price trends

Not surprisingly, prices have gone up in 2015. The average desk rate (cost per person, per month) has gone up by 37% in the last 12 months. In 2014, the average desk rate was £310, and in 2015 this has increased to £426.

There were considerable regional variations, with the biggest increase happening in the South West where the average desk rate increased by a massive 57%. London serviced office rents increased by less than the average, going up by 17% year on year, whilst Wales was nearly unchanged at just 4% increase on last year.

There are also considerable regional variations in the average cost per desk in a serviced office. As always, London was the most expensive place in the UK to rent a serviced office, with the average cost in 2015 of £596 per person, per month.

The next most expensive areas (the South West and Scotland) are much cheaper — around half the cost of London. Wales is the cheapest area, with an average desk rate of just £201, helped by the fact that prices haven’t increased from last year.

Average office size

In 2015, the average serviced office deal was 5.8 desks, up slightly from 5.5 desks last year. The average serviced office in London has 6.7 desks (down from 8.1 in 2014), and the smallest offices are in Scotland, where the average size is 3.9 desks.

The biggest growth area is the North East where the average office size increased by a massive 69%.

Interestingly, there is around a 10% difference between the size of office people originally enquired about, and the size of office they ended up taking.

Overall, people took 10% less space than they initially enquired about.

For example, an enquiry about a 10 person office, would end up on average as a 9 person office — people tend to overestimate the space they need.

The difference between the sexes

Interestingly, men were far worse at this than women!

Men tended to overestimate size by 11%, but women are obviously less prone to exaggeration with only a 2% difference between what they enquired about and what they ended up taking.

[One of the key benefits of a serviced office, over a conventional lease, is that you only pay for the space you need when you take the office, and if more is required at a later date then you can usually migrate upwards, if and when you need to. With a conventional lease you would be paying for the excess space from the outset.]

So women’s more realistic estimates of the space required, could save them money.

But men tend to negotiate better deals. Or at least they used to — the gap has now closed.
In 2013-14, on average, men negotiated a desk rate 10% cheaper than their female counterparts.

In 2015, this gap shrank to 1% so men are no longer the best negotiators! Women and men are now pretty much level pegging when it comes to negotiating the best serviced office deal.

However, men do place most of the deals, with 70% of enquiries coming from men in 2015.

But they are less good at estimating their move-in date. Generally, people think they need their office sooner than they do. On average people say they need their new office 22 days before they actually take it, with men being worse than women in this respect.

And contrary to popular belief, men and women take the same time to make up their minds. The average time from enquiry to signing contracts is 42 days, with little difference between the sexes.