Liverpool 2015 office review paints mixed picture

Liverpool’s 2015 Commercial Office Market Review revealed office take-up across the city region totalled 576,847 sq ft last year, a 2.4% increase on the previous year. But city centre take-up dipped more than 20%.

The report, which is jointly produced by member agents of Professional Liverpool’s Property Group and supported by Liverpool BID Company, highlighted that smaller lettings dominated the market in the Commercial District with a record number of deals; 156 in 2015 compared to 121 in 2014.

Take-up in the commercial district was 301,956 sq ft, down 21% on 2014.

Out-of-town take-up rose by 73% on 2014, reaching 193,824 sq ft with significant deals including 22,900 sq ft to Deyes High School at Vortex House and 22,140 sq ft at Liverpool Innovation Park to AIMES Grid Services.

Demand for office space in the city fringe also improved, with a 20% rise in take-up. This was boosted by the letting of 33,433 sq ft to the NHS Liverpool CCG at The Department, the largest letting in the commercial district and city fringe combined.

This latest report also revealed take-up in Grade B and Grade B* categories was dominant across the city region, accounting for 90 of all office take-up in 2015.

Tony Reed, chairman of Professional Liverpool’s Property Group, said: “The statistics are extremely encouraging with a 2.4% rise in overall take-up across the region, reflecting that the market has continued to benefit from the economic upturn. While the growth of the creative/IT/media sectors helps to cement Liverpool’s reputation as a truly entrepreneurial city.

“But there are still challenges as we see a continued lack of Grade A office stock across the Liverpool City Region. With no new Grade A space in planning, with the exception of Peel Land & Property’s Liverpool Waters scheme, this is set to continue.”

Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, which is currently overseeing the renewal ballot of the Commercial District BID, said: ‘The market in Liverpool city centre is vibrant and shows a healthy demand for space. The number of start-up businesses is an encouraging underlying trend with the rise of the Digital and Creative sector in the Commercial District a highly positive sign of the confidence in the city. The BID Company is focused on nurturing and developing these trends over the next five years, but this report is clear; Grade A supply needs to improve and as a city we must strive to stimulate the market – especially by investing in our transport and digital infrastructure.’’

The review was launched at a breakfast event held at the recently launched 25,000 sq ft Tempest building by Capital & Centric on Tithebarn Street.

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It isn’t correct to say that city centre take up reduced by 20%, the report states:

“Total office take-up in the Commercial District in 2015 was 301,956 sq ft which is down by 21% from 2014 but similar to the 316,964 sq ft of 2013.”

The Commercial District isn’t the city centre, but only a pocket of it.

It also goes on to say:

“As with 2014, the decreasing supply can be attributed to an increasing number of building uses being converted from offices to hotels, serviced apartments and residential, including Martins bank building, 60 Old Hall Street, Orleans House and Mersey House.”

Given some of these are very considerable office blocks, the loss of these and yet the city still posting a rise in overall take up I feel is not a “mixed picture” at all but instead one of a city doing well against all the odds.

By Mike

We need grade A office space, the big question is when if ever Peel, will get off their backsides and start Liverpool Waters, they have been very quiet since the announcements this time last year about the Priness Dock, very worrying that no news has been released since. They do not inspire confidence at all in their scheme.

By Man on bicycle

We need to push ahead with our plans for HS2/3 to future proof a level playing field.

By Gwydion

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