A market whose appeal will strengthen with enhanced connectivity via the Elizabeth Line and town centre regeneration progress, but one that will need to witness a further injection of quality office supply in order to convert that appeal into concrete commitment from occupiers.
Maidenhead is fast gaining a reputation as a centre of strategic importance not only within the Thames Valley but also across the wider South East office market. The almost £1 billion regeneration programme aimed at transforming the town centre, alongside the continued availability of good quality, affordable housing is appealing to a young and talented labour force seeking to migrate from more expensive and central areas.
Of course, the arrival of the Elizabeth Line, in 2019, will further add to the appeal of Maidenhead as a place to live and work and will induce further demand from global and national businesses seeking a regional hub within striking distance of central London.
The heart of Maidenhead is constrained, creating a potential limiting factor for future growth. Choice for occupiers is extremely limited at present at a time when demand has been on the rise, driven by the Elizabeth Line.
2017 saw almost 135,000 sq ft of take-up in the market – a figure that is 15% above the long-term annual average. The consequence of this has been that best quality supply presented by the market has been rapidly absorbed.
This is leaving occupiers with no choice but to extend their search areas beyond the city centre. As they seek high quality space, occupiers are starting to focus their attention on either the out-of-town market, or alternative centres, such as Reading and Slough.
Given the supply and demand dynamic noted, the emergence of high-quality space around the town’s train station will be crucial to the future success of the market. There are 10 development schemes within the town with consent for offices, but only one – with a total size of 20,000 sq ft – actually has works underway.
The consented office space within the London & Aberdeen Groups The Landing development will obviously be significant over the longer term and will serve to support the further promotion of the city centre as a place of connection, talent and vibrant amenity.
The town centre has historically underwhelmed new potential occupiers but with the recent appointment of the HUB Group as development manager on The Landing scheme, London & Aberdeen Group are expected to submit a formal planning application. Inclusive of office, retail and residential space, The Landing scheme will provide a key enhancement in terms of the amenity provision and vibrancy of this centre so often unfavourably compared to Marlow, with it’s first-class high street but poor connectivity.
Given such improvements to the civic realm and very little new space currently under construction, we anticipate further growth in rents which have achieved annualised growth of 4% over the last five years.