Strongest ever results for city centre office take-up

CITY centre office take up in Leeds has seen record results.

The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF) has released its quarterly take-up figures for the Leeds office market which shows total city centre take-up reached 203,145 sq ft across 23 transactions in Quarter 2 (Q2 2013) – a 260% increase compared with Q2 2012.

At the half year point (H1 2013) city centre take-up stood at 438,145 sq ft which, according to the forum’s data which spans over the last decade, is the highest level on record for the first six months of any year. It is also a 106% increase compared with the same period last year (212,288 sq ft) and 8% higher than the whole of last year’s total volume (405,953 sq ft).

Eamon Fox, spokesperson for LOAF and director at property company DTZ in Leeds, said: “Leeds has continued to outperform a number of regional markets in the second quarter of the year.

“Indeed, this is the strongest quarter in terms of city centre take-up volumes since Q4 2003 and would appear to be best start to the first six months of any year in recent memory. Already, the total take-up in the first half of this year has exceeded the five year average of 380,000 sq ft.”

The largest city centre transactions were completed at Highcross’ Broad Gate scheme with Yorkshire Building Society taking 76,413 sq ft and CapGemini Financial Services agreeing terms on 25,389 sq ft of space.

According to the forum, Grade A supply is now severely restricted with just 235,000 sq ft of available accommodation remaining in the city centre which will drive competition amongst occupiers for the best remaining space. It is likely that pre-lets will become increasingly popular as a means of satisfying longer term demand. 

The out-of-town market also continued to see healthy levels of activity recording take-up volumes of 98,928 sq ft over 18 deals.

Whilst this was a 40% decrease compared with same quarter last year, Q2 2012 saw a large spike in take-up recording the highest level of out-of-town activity (164,398 sq ft) seen in any one quarter for over eight years (since Q1 2005). 

At the half year point out-of-town take-up totalled 195,835 sq ft compared with 220,419 sq ft recorded at the equivalent point last year.

Seven deals over 5,000 sq ft were completed; the largest being the 18,269 sq ft acquisition by Age Partnership at 2210 Century Way, Thorpe Park.

Mr Fox said: “There was a notable return of owner occupiers acquiring space in the out-of-town market; six of the 18 transactions were freehold deals demonstrating the growing confidence in the occupier market in response to improving economic conditions.”

Members of LOAF, which aims to collate and distribute definitive market information, include BNP Paribas, Carter Towler, CBRE, Colliers International, DTZ, GVA, Jones Lang LaSalle, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Ryden, Sanderson Weatherall, Savills and WSB.

 

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