Aberdeen and Manchester set the pace for office rents outside London and the south-east in 2014, a new report from CBRE says.
The property giant has put the Granite City ahead of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool and Southampton for prime rents last year.
According to CBRE, the most sought-after office accommodation in Aberdeen fetched £32 per square foot on average, an increase of 1.6% from 2013.
Manchester caught up with Scotland’s third biggest city after a 6.7% increase.
CBRE’s latest office market review says new office projects in Aberdeen could lead to a new record for Grade A space in the city.
But it also warns of a “dampening” of office market activity in Europe’s energy capital in 2015 in response to lower oil prices.
Aberdeen enjoyed record take-up levels for office space last year.
CBRE puts the total at just over 1million square feet, an increase of 44% on the previous 12 months.
The figure was boosted by the second largest occupational deal in 2014 anywhere in the UK, with Aker Solutions’ pre-let of 335,000sq ft at Aberdeen International Business Park.
Gordon Pirie, associate director in CBRE’s Aberdeen office, told the Press and Journal office take-up activity was “exceptionally strong” throughout 2014, despite oil prices plunging in the second half.
He added: “We’ve seen further rental growth, with prime rents moving from £31.50 per sq ft to £32 per sq ft.
“The new speculative schemes in the city centre may also set a new rental benchmark for Grade A space in Aberdeen.”
Office rents in Aberdeen broke the Scottish record twice during 2011 and have continued to set the pace north of the border and for regional markets outside south-east England ever since.
But 2015 could be a different story after the oil price slump, with CBRE warning: “Already supply levels have begun to rise as companies look to dispose of surplus accommodation.”