Following a period of very strong activity, take-up was relatively modest in Q4, with 157,568 sq ft of transactions within the city centre. This is down 61% compared to the same quarter last year, although Q4 2013 was one of the best quarters on record.
Ten deals (40% of all transactions) acquired Grade A office accommodation and only three deals (9%) acquired poorer quality Grade C accommodation. This trend is becoming a key theme in the city centre market.
The SME sector continues to dominate the market with 80% of deals recorded in this sector acquiring space of less than 5,000 sq ft.
2014 total take-up for the city centre was 526,150 sq ft. Whilst take-up was below 2013’s record total of 777,213 sq ft, 2014 finished above the long-term five year average (480,000 sq ft). A number of significant pre-lets being delayed has hindered 2014’s overall performance, but we anticipate a strong start to 2015 as these deals conclude.
The out of town markets recorded their largest quarter’s take-up for 2014 in Q4, boosted by two deals over 20,000 sq ft giving a final total 118,132 sq ft. Despite a strong Q4, the market still relies on a large volume of smaller transactions (27 deals recorded) to make up its total with the average transaction size being 4,375 sq ft.