Increasing confidence in city centre
Year end market activity for the city centre will breach 1,000,000 sq ft for the first time since 2010, highlighting the increasing confidence of occupiers as economic recovery continues.
This robust performance has been achieved despite the fact that Manchester’s business community acquired 31,514 sq ft less during the third quarter when compared to the same period in 2013.
The most notable deal was the sale of Lancaster Buildings extending to 13,000 sq ft. This period accommodation will become the new home for BCL Legal.
Occupier activity in Salford Quays declined significantly in the third quarter with 20,000 sq ft less space transacted than in the same period last year. With aggregate Q3 take up amounting to 102,873 sq ft at the end of September, the long term annual average of 115,000 sq ft will undoubtedly be surpassed by year end.
Quarterly lettings in West Point, Old Trafford totalled 16,083 sq ft and represented 88% of the letting activity within this Greater Manchester sub market in 5 transactions.
A marginal increase in letting activity was witnessed in the South Manchester market with the quarterly take up of 176,736 sq ft up by 4.5% on the same period last year. The freehold purchase of Renaissance Court, Christie Fields was the most notable deal with Contour Housing acquiring the 23,582 sq ft self contained building.
83,553 sq ft of office spaces was transacted in the third quarter across Warrington town centre and the Birchwood market, approximately 42% less than in the same period last year. Despite this quarterly reduction, outstanding lease completions are predicted to result in increased activity in Q4.
Adam Jackson, Associate Director at Lambert Smith Hampton and spokesperson for MOAF, said: “Occupier confidence continues to strengthen and the leasing advisors of the North West are noting that more businesses are expanding. With the recruitment of additional staff comes the need for extra office space.”
“Despite quarterly fluctuations, the occupational office markets across Greater Manchester are set to exceed long-term annual averages this year as witnessed already in the city centre.”