After a strong 2015, leasing activity across Newcastle’s city centre office market slowed dramatically in the first quarter of 2016 to just 29,250 sq ft, representing a year-on-year fall of 39%. Out-of-town, take-up increased marginally from the previous quarter to 143,497 sq ft, albeit still a fall of 43% from the same quarter in 2015.
Across both markets combined, there were 16% fewer deals than the same period in 2015 and the average transaction size fell from 6,799 sq ft to 4,668 sq ft. The largest letting by some distance was to Sitel - a call centre provider which is expanding from a nearby location.
Despite this slow start, there are several strong unsatisfied requirements in the market place which are taking longer than usual to progress.
Positively, the region witnessed an improvement in employment growth in the second half of 2015, rising by 4%, and it is hoped that this will stimulate further occupier demand as we move throughout the year.
 Source: NOMIS Labour Force Survey