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Strong office takeup in Oxford driven by lab demand, finds Savills

22 February 2024
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Office takeup in Oxford reached 480,000 sq ft in 2023 – the second highest figure in the last five years, according to Savills.

Of that total, 64 per cent (or 300,000 sq ft) was for laboratory space, representing the highest total the city has ever recorded.

Notable transactions included Ryze Hydrogen’s acquisition of 24,000 sq ft at North Bailey House, as well as two lettings at ARC Oxford to Tripadvisor and Miro for a combined 28,154 sq ft.

City centre transactions accounted for 63,144 sq ft of takeup in 2023, driven by new, purpose-built stock at Iverson Building, Barton House and Inventa which Savills says should be easily absorbed.

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The company also estimates current demand levels for office, laboratory and R&D accommodation at 1 million sq ft.

This has supported significant rental growth, with new prime rents of £63.50 psf at North Bailey House and £90 psf for laboratory space in Oxford.

Jan Losch, associate director at Savills Oxford’s commercial agency, said: “Following a really good 2023 there are early signs for another strong year of takeup in 2024 combined with some good supply coming forward.

“A number of transactions have already gone through, including the largest city centre office letting for a number of years with Aurora Energy Research taking the former city council offices on St Aldates (37,750 sq ft).

“Then out of town, the laboratory market continues to go well with OrganOx taking a lease assignment from Exact Sciences on Building 3500 at ARC Oxford (17,746 sq ft).”

Read more - Aurora Energy Research secures global HQ in heart of Oxford


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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