Leeds city centre office take-up more than doubled in quarter one 2024

The Leeds Office Agents Forum (LOAF) has reported a positive start to the first quarter of 2024, with 249,703 sq ft of office take-up recorded in the city centre.

This marks a 122% increase compared with the last quarter of 2023.

Over the first three months of 2024, 31 city centre office transactions were completed, with the average deal size increasing from 3,508 sq ft recorded in Q4 2023 to 8,055 sq ft.

Notable Q1 city centre transactions included the 37,865 sq ft letting to insurance firm QBE at Bruntwood SciTech’s newly redeveloped West Village scheme.

EY signed up for 25,303 sq ft at 12 Wellington Place, while Global Banking School committed to 29,407 sq ft of space at 1 Wellington Place to support its expansion.

Alex Hailey, senior director at CBRE, said: “Any quarter where city centre take-up surpasses 200,000 sq ft is a very encouraging result for investors and building owners.

“Take-up volumes in this quarter also underpin the healthy confidence of businesses in Leeds city centre with 12 deals over 5,000 sq ft completed, compared to seven at the close of last year.”

Toby Nield, director at Savills, added: “Wellington Place has proved to be a popular destination for occupiers in Q1. It not only attracted EY and Global Banking School, but Lloyds Bank and Cubo also committed to taking more expansion space and Evelyn Partners is expected to relocate there in the second half of the year.”

According to the forum, rental levels in the city centre continued to move upward, reflecting a lack of quality office stock and pressure on available space.

More than 30% of the 31 city centre deals were agreed at rents of over £30 per sq ft.

In the out-of-town market, 39,540 sq ft of office take-up was recorded across 14 deals, with the largest transaction being at Tomlinson House, Capitol Park comprising 11,153 sq ft of freehold space.

Richard Dunn, a partner with Sanderson Weatherall, said: “The subdued out-of-town market activity reflects the lack of superior quality office stock now available.

“Supply remains a pressing issue in both markets and with little new construction expected in 2024 the choice of new or improved space for occupiers looks unlikely to change until 2026.

“Our advice to businesses considering their workplace requirements is to commit to space as soon as they can rather than deferring relocation decisions.”

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