Southern England

In general, Southern England is thought to encompass those counties which border or are close by to the English Channel, such as Kent, Greater London, Oxfordshire and Surrey, to name but a few. Many of the major cities found in Southern England are popular with office-based businesses. As such, places such as London City, Cambridge, Oxford and Southampton see high levels of investment by office-space developers and take-over of this office space by big budget companies.

London City, being the UK's capital, is the site of some of the most expensive and most desired office space, with addresses in the West End and Central London often costing well over £100 per square metre of office space in rental value.

In recent years, as the global financial recession hit London City, many companies found themselves looking for less expensive rental sites for office workers. This led to the increase of major regional offices, a trend which, while the office market in London City appears to have returned to a growth phase, continues today. In 2013, according to Savills Real Estate Agency, regional office markets saw growth of up to 32% compared to 2012.

The real estate agency also believes that many investors have increased their appetites for more regional offices as economic growth means office vacancies in London City is decreasing. For example, the office space market in Cambridge grew by 88% in 2013. Savills predicts London City to have the highest economic growth in 2014, but South East England is predicted to have the second highest economic growth as businesses continue to spread from the capital to the surrounding regions while South West England is not too far behind, ranked at a predicted number 6 of 12 regions. London City and South East England are most likely to lead the market in terms of growth, as it is predicted that 2014 will see a huge increase in employment and job growth within the private sector.

Outside of the major cities of Southern England, office space in business centres such as Clarendon Business Centres in Bournemouth provides company space for both long and short term rental, often offering serviced and fully furnished offices. An advantage of these serviced offices is that they often do not require a long-term commitment when renting. Office sizes vary hugely depending on the size of the company renting them, with advising companies to allow 50 - 75 square feet per employee. As such, the size of the office often depends on the number of people working in it. Recent statistics shows that the majority of UK businesses in 2014 are small and medium enterprises (SME), each of which, as a rule, employees up to 250 employees.

Some of the least expensive office space are found in some of the more outlying areas of Southern England, such as Peterborough, where grade A office space rents at £13.50 per square foot (on average), while grade B is roughly £10 per square foot. Compare this to £30 per square foot in Windsor for grade A office space and £22.50 for grade B. Even without taking London City into account, the rental values of office space varies hugely throughout Southern England.

Thanks to the popularity of London City as a base for many companies throughout the world, Southern England has a great deal of developers investing in the office market. For example, Hamilton Royce and the Berkeley Group, both of which are award-winning property developers in the South of England.