Bumper performance for Leeds office market in first quarter

By James Wallace - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 14:50

Office leasing figures in Leeds rose by 83% to 191,861 sq ft year on year, according to Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF), in the strongest first quarter recorded for five years.

Of the 28 city centre transactions to complete, the largest was the 76,000 sq ft acquisition at 33 Wellington Street by Walker Morris. The letting to the Dart Group of the remaining 48,272 sq ft at The Mint was the only other city centre transaction above 10,000 sq ft.

Patrick Carter from Savills and LOAF spokesperson, said: “We have seen the strongest city centre first quarter, in terms of activity, since 2013 with 80% of all office transactions being for grade A office space.

“This strong occupational activity means that Grade A office stock has reduced even further with a number of hitherto vacant buildings now fully let.  With limited available Grade A accommodation and a diminished development pipeline, occupiers seeking substantial amounts of office space will be faced with fewer options and will have to seriously consider long term pre-lets.”

In the Leeds’ out-of-town market, 83,830 sq ft of office deals completed, a 50% increase on the first three months of last year. There were a total of 24 separate out-of-town deals with two transactions of over 10,000 sq ft in size: the 11,107 sq ft letting to Balfour Beatty at Thorpe Park and Pancredit Systems taking 15,152 sq ft at Lawnswood Business Park.

Alex Jowett from WSB added: “The outlook for Leeds’ market performance in 2018 is positive with a range of lease events due to be triggered this year particularly for space occupied by professional services firms. With good quality space increasingly in short supply, there is now a real opportunity for property owners and developers to focus on speculative schemes and delivering high quality office refurbishments."

The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum was established in by the leading surveying firms based in the city to collate and distribute definitive office market data.

Its members are BNP Paribas, Carter Towler, Carter Jonas, CBRE, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, Eddisons, Fox Lloyd Jones, GVA, JLL, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Ryden, Sanderson Weatherall, Savills and WSB.

James Wallace is a freelance consultant and can be reached via Linkedin or email: jawallace32@gmail.com

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