City offices on course for below par year

Manchester Office Agents' Forum said city centre take-up was 156,803 sq ft in the third quarter of 2011 meaning the total for the first nine months of the year stands at 458,302 sq ft, compared to an average for the same period in the past five years of 688,500 sq ft.

The most notable lettings during the third quarter were Late Rooms taking a further 11,757 sq ft at Peninsula, Outsourcery agreeing a deal at Spinningfields' the Avenue for 7,792 sq ft and the 26,699 sq ft sale to the Iraqi Consulate at 1 Norfolk Street.

Alex Russell, associate partner at WHR Property Consultants and spokesman for MOAF, said: "Whilst there has been a slight fall in take-up in the third quarter of this year compared to the previous one, this was not unexpected and is typical of the time of year in any market when the summer months are always quieter. However, occupier demand has remained steady with us already seeing a significant increase in new enquiries during September and October.

"Good quality secondhand accommodation remains high on occupier's agendas and with little Grade A new build available this is not unexpected. Although we are also seeing an increasing surge in budget accommodation lettings with sub-2,000 sq ft deals being the most sought after."

The final quarter of 2011 is expected to deliver completion of the deal between Bruntwood and Indian business services outsourcing giant Aegis for 40,000 sq ft in City Tower, and Argent/GMPVF's 65,000 sq ft prelet to KPMG for One St Peter's Square.

The predicted year end for Manchester city centre take-up is 650,000 sq ft, down significantly from a five-year average of 990,077 sq ft. The total for 2010 of 1.3m sq ft was greatly boosted by the 328,000 sq ft Co-operative headquarters. There were also several decent deals in quality space such as Belvedere, Spinningfields and Chancery Place.

South Manchester's office Q3 take-up was similar to the city centre's at 184,043 sq ft which is greater than both Q1 and Q2 leaving a take-up of 368,086 sq ft for the year so far.

Russell concluded: "The outlook is positive and with major deals such as the KPMG letting set to formally exchange in the coming weeks, the end-of-year take-up results are set to be better than forecasted – particularly when compared to other UK regional cities, proving that Manchester is the place to do business."

Quarter 3 2011 MOAF take-up statistics


Half Year

Size (sq ft)


Size (sq ft)


Total to date

Manchester City Centre




South Manchester




Old Trafford




Salford Quays




MOAF members include CBRE, Canning O'Neill, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, DTZ, Drivers Jonas Deloitte, Edwards & Co, GVA, Jones Lang LaSalle, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, P3 Property Consultants, Savills and WHR Property Consultants.

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