The Bristol office market saw higher activity across various sectors in the third quarter of 2015, and expectations are high that activity levels will continue at this pace as the year enters its final three months.
In analysing the latest city centre numbers, James Preece from Colliers International stated that although the market had not seen the larger transactions it witnessed in 2014, it has seen a “measurably higher level of transactions”.
Mr. Preece said: “Whilst there has been a lack of Grade A City Centre activity, we expect this to change in the final Quarter. Requirement levels are high and a number of deals that have drifted should go over the line resulting in an increased level of completions in Q4.”
Rents to Rise in Bristol
Since there are no new developments currently being constructed and Grade B stock to conversion schemes continue to erode, the fate of rents in Bristol appears set.
The third quarter city take-up at 131,000 square feet is comparable to the same period one year ago. The take-up to date for this year has hit the 397,000 square foot mark, pushing it to eight percent above the five-year average.
Mr. Preece stated, “When you bear in mind that there have not been any transactions above 14,500 sq ft so far this year, this makes the take-up figures all the more impressive. Once again the bulk of city centre deals so far this year have been in the 5,000-10,000 sq ft size range.”
Out-of-town Market Down
He went on to say that the out-of-town market had been down when compared to last year with around 65,000 sq ft taken up in the third quarter.
To date, 2015 take-up stands at 198,000 sq ft, 21 percent below the five year average. The largest and only Grade A out-of-town transaction this quarter was Northgate taking 13,000 sq ft on the second floor at 740 Aztec West.
“As in the City Centre, the greatest proportion of the space let out-of-town so far this year was in the 5,000-10,000 sq ft size range, with the technology sector once again very active”, Preece said. ”There are a number of reasonable sized requirements currently reviewing options and we are optimistic that many of these will commit to space in the next six months.”
Blitz Walk Opportunity to Visit Bristol’s Wartime Locations
The annual Bristol Blitz Walk shone a light on the city’s wartime past. Organised by Colliers International’s Development Consulting and Agency team, development specialists had the opportunity to visit some of the most badly damaged city centre locations.
Participants also got to sample wartime rations at Colliers International’s new offices at 10 Temple Back.
Director Christ Dawson said, “Weather aside it all went well, the surprise hit from the wartime catering selection being the spam fritters! The event was received well by our guests with about 35 braving the appalling weather along with our DCA and planning teams, for what was an interesting look at the central area of Bristol from a different perspective.
The walk helped us understand the physical impact of the Bristol Blitz on what was once the city’s commercial heart.”
Local historian and Bristol Post columnist Eugene Byrne hosted the guided walk and gave an informative commentary on the damage to property and the city’s population.