A total of 264,617 sq ft of office space was transacted across Leeds between January and March 2016 – 80% more than the same period in 2015 despite fewer deals taking place.
The out-of-town market was responsible for the lion’s share of activity, with pre-lets to Zenith Vehicle Leasing and CEG at Kirkstall Forge contributing 54,550 sq ft towards the Q1 take-up figure of 142,709 sq ft – the highest quarterly out-of town take-up since Q4 2013.At 121,908 sq ft, the city centre also enjoyed a strong first quarter – up some 39% on the same period in 2016 albeit down by more than half on Q1 2015’s record breaking 267,187 sq ft.
Reinforcing Leeds’ position as the largest financial services hub outside of London, the sector witnessed a spike in activity during Q1 2016, with 233% more deals than the same period in 2015 – a trend which looks set to continue as the Northern Powerhouse initiative gathers momentum and more occupiers begin to look at ‘North-Shoring’ opportunities.
The economic uncertainty surrounding a possible Brexit is likely to lead to a pause in occupier activity during Q2 2016. However, we anticipate a rebound in the second half of the year once business confidence resumes.