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Bidwells: Oxford lab space availability at historic low in H1 2021

By Karolina Skinner
17 August 2021

According to property specialist Bidwells, the availability rate for laboratory space in Oxford fell to an historic low of just 2.2% in H1 2021, driving strong rental growth this year to a new high of £47.50 psf. 

Demand for office and labs space in the region is high, with a considerable volume under offer at the end of H1 and potential requirements for take up for +50,000 sq ft space.

Oxford's knowledge-based economy has been growing in recent years, with output growing by 7.1% in 2019 and 4.5% per annum in 2016-19. This compares with growth for the UK, which stands at 4.5% and 4.3% respectively.   

This has driven intense investor interest in the property sector in Oxford, which Bidwells expects will provide a boost to much need laboratory supply to fulfil the growing list of requirements.

"Turnover in the Oxford office and laboratory investment market saw a sharp upturn, with a total of £61.7m of deals completing in H1 2021, across five transactions. This compares to £89m of activity in the previous 12 months in six deals. The second half of the year is expected to see activity increase with several larger transactions currently in negotiation," said Sue Foxley, Research Director at Bidwells. 

"The largest transaction to date this year", adds Sue Foxley, "was the purchase of the Sherard Building at the Oxford Science Park (28,000 sq ft - pictured) for £25.5m, by European R&D real estate specialists Kadans Science Partner.

About Bidwells

Property consultancy Bidwells focusses much of its work in the ‘Golden Triangle’ encompassed by Oxford, Cambridge and London, in key sectors such as science & technology and education. With a team of over 500, Bidwells manages over £5.2bn in property assets for national and international investors.