The North West office market has seen a stellar start to the year, with Liverpool and Manchester experiencing strong levels of take-up in Q1, according to a report from Bilfinger GVA.
It was found that Liverpool’s office take-up surpassed 90,000 sq ft in the first quarter, overtaking the five-year quarterly average of 80,000 sq ft.
Manchester saw a slower start to the year than expected, with take-up being slightly below the five-year quarterly average at 196,533 sq ft in Q1 2016. However, a collection of significant pending deals is set to strengthen figures in Q2.
GVA Liverpool’s Director, Ian Steele, commented: “It’s been another strong quarter in Liverpool and there continues to be a healthy pipeline of new occupier requirements and an increase in transactional activity which should ensure that take-up levels remain high.”
Mr Steele says that the main issues Liverpool is facing is the diminishing supply of good quality office space and no immediate development pipeline.
He continued: “Liverpool now has less than a year’s worth of Grade A supply and with no new office development schemes currently on site, it will be 2018 at the earliest before we see new space delivered into the market.
“This is likely to have a detrimental effect on take-up levels and transactional activity over the next few years as both inward investment requirements and existing occupiers will be faced with limited options when considering relocation.”
For Manchester, according to David Thwaites, associate at GVA Manchester, adds: “The lack of available Grade A stock coupled with the uncertainty over Brexit have been the two principle factors contributing to a relatively slow start to the year.
“Although these factors will continue through to Q2 the number of sizeable requirements currently in the marketplace is as high as I can remember and should lead to an extremely busy end of year.
“With increased occupier demand and new schemes coming closer to completion we are confident that in excess of one million sq ft will again be transacted by the end of 2016 for the third year in a row which would be a first for Manchester and further testament to the city’s reputation as the number one business destination outside of London.”
The total amount of city centre and out of town take-up totalled 2.3 million sq ft, 13% above the five-year quarterly average. City centre take-up was 1.47m sq ft, which is 13% above the average, while out of town take-up was 0.86m sq ft. 7% above the five-year average.
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