MOAF: Take-up down in Q1 but big deals lining up

According to Manchester Office Agents Forum there was 197,000 sq ft of office take-up in the city centre during the first quarter of this year, which was down 38% on the same period of 2015.

However, take-up is expected to rise in the second quarter as several large requirements are close to completing, such as law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer for 80,000 sq ft at New Bailey with English Cities Fund.

In the first quarter, Allied London’s 28,000 sq ft pre-let to Squire Patton Boggs and Ares’ 16,000 sq ft letting to Arup at 4 Piccadilly Place dominated the city centre’s take-up figures.

Outside the centre, 89,000 sq ft of offices were transacted in South Manchester, with the largest letting 26,000 sq ft to Styles & Wood at Orbit’s Cavendish House, Sale.

There were 33,000 sq ft transacted in Salford Quays, however, with a number of lettings expected to complete within the forthcoming weeks, the quarter two take-up figure is expected to exceed the first three months.

In Warrington, take-up in quarter one was 91,000 sq ft, which was more than double the corresponding period in 2015.

Neil Mort, director and head of North West office agency at CBRE, said: “Despite the Q1 figures being disappointing, there are encouraging signs that with the scale and quantity of existing requirements, take-up across all of the Greater Manchester markets will improve significantly throughout the remainder of 2016.”

Formed in 2009, MOAF members include OBI Property, CBRE, Colliers, Canning O’Neill, Cushman & Wakefield, Edwards & Co, Bilfinger GVA, JLL, Knight Frank, LSH, Matthews & Goodman, Savills, TSG Property Consultants, WHR Property Consultants and BE Group.

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