A recent office quality audit, commissioned by the States of Guernsey and undertaken by commercial real estate specialists Watts Property Consultants, has identified that St Peter Port has approximately 2,108,000 sq ft of office accommodation arranged over 251 buildings.
Working on behalf of the States’ Development & Planning Authority, Watts Property was appointed to establish a database of all offices located within the St Peter Port Main Centre and Main Centre Outer Areas.
In addition to cataloguing the location and approximate size of the properties, each building was considered against a set of predefined criteria to establish their actual quality. The estimated rental value of each property was then taken as a key differentiator, with the property portfolio allocated as either prime, secondary or tertiary stock.
The audit found that of the 251 properties, just 11 were prime. This constituted approximately 523,000 (25%) of the total stock. Secondary property accounted for the largest amount of floor area, at 983,000 sq ft (47%), compared with 602,000 sq ft (28%) for tertiary.
The properties were also categorised in terms of location, floor space, modernity and typical lease length. Secondary and tertiary stock were identified as older, with shorter lease lengths and lacking modern attributes.
Wing Lai, Watts Property Consultants, said: “This property report highlights what we have known for a while, that there is an oversupply of tertiary stock which is not suitable for modern-day occupiers and is therefore underutilised or vacant. This coincides with an undersupply of prime accommodation.”
“In fact, the new prime office buildings currently being developed by Comprop at Admiral Park and St James’ Place, all of which Watts Property are involved in, have already secured pre-lets, demonstrating strong demand for this sector.”
“We hope these findings can now be used to assist the States of Guernsey in their decision-making within this sector.”
Deputy Victoria Oliver, President of the Development & Planning Authority, commented: “The principal purpose of the Office Quality Audit is the establishment of a database detailing all office sites within the St Peter Port Main Centre and Main Centre Outer Areas.”
“Thanks to Watts’ specialist knowledge, the findings from this audit highlights the position and needs of the office sector, such as the growing demand for prime office space and the current oversupply of tertiary office space which can potentially be used for other purposes such as much needed housing. This provides us with very useful information which can be carefully considered in our decision making.”
The audit report can be found here.