There was a 10% contraction in the amount of space held by occupiers in the North West in the past six months, compared to a national figure of -17%, according to the CBI/GVA Grimley Real Estate Survey.
Going forward the UK figure will fall to -25% but the North West will fair better, reaching -13%.
The survey, unveiled at a seminar at the Lowry Hotel in Salford this week, predicted there will be a more pessimistic outlook for the North West over the next two years compared to the rest of the UK, with a balance of -4% compared to a UK figure of +6%.
It also showed that output and employment would fall at a slower rate in the region over the next six months, compared to the national average.
Mark Rawstron, regional senior director of GVA Grimley's Manchester office, said: "Firms have reduced their property holdings over the past six months and this looks set to continue as they cut costs to try and maintain the business margins but the North West is holding its own, with property portfolios not being cut as hard as the rest of the UK. The recession has been felt by almost every business, and most are seeing at least some impact from tighter lending conditions."
The survey was carried out between 19 February and 11 March 2009 and covered private sector firms of all sizes and from all regions, but did not include those from the agricultural sector. 198 firms responded.