26 September 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
There are now 6,075 flex space centres across the UK, the sector having grown by 7 per cent over the past six months alone, according to a market report from The Instant Group.
Flex space consists of co-working, serviced offices, and hybrid centres that offer both private offices and shared working - in total it amounts to more than 85 million square feet of the UK office market.
According to The Instant Group's analysis, there is now more sub-5,000 square feet of leased space available on the market than at any time since 2009 as client requirements look to flexible workspace alternatives. At the same time, demand for 25-plus desk requirements for flex space has increased by 25 per cent in the capital and 35 per cent throughout the rest of the UK.
Despite the additional demand over the past 12 months and the greater market activity from both flex operators and landlords to increase supply, the market penetration of flexible workspace centres versus conventional space is still relatively small at just 4 per cent of total office supply.
This figure is slightly higher in London at 6 per cent, but is much lower in the larger regional cities, with just 4 per cent in Manchester, 3 per cent in Leeds, 3 per cent in Cambridge and 2 per cent in Oxford.
The Instant Group states that this is "particularly surprising considering the strength of the start-up markets in these cities and general economic growth statistics". While supply growth could slow in the short term, client demand for flex space shows no signs of slowing. With this strong client sentiment, the market will see a resurgence in new supply from 2021 onwards.