Financial occupiers grow Liverpool office market

Annual office take-up by the financial services sector in Liverpool city centre rose from 57,000 sq ft to 70,000 sq ft in 2007, according to the latest review by Liverpool Vision and Merseyside Property Forum.

The 2007 Liverpool Office Market Review showed overall office take-up was 462,875 sq ft, an increase of 14% on 2006.

For the first time, the review also includes data on Liverpool's midtown and out-of-town office markets, which almost doubles total office take-up in the year to 846,195 sq ft.

The report claims the quality of occupier within Liverpool city centre has improved and the 'financial decision-makers' rather than 'back office' functions are now being attracted. The key 2007 lettings in the sector included HBOS (11,430 sq ft) and Allied Irish Bank (6,638 sq ft) at St Paul's Square and Panmure Gordon's (6,338 sq ft) letting at 20 Chapel Street.

Take-up was dominated by quality refurbished office stock, which accounted for 81% of all space let. Notable winners in this category were Bruntwood's The Plaza and UK Land & Property and Pochin's Exchange Flags.

Liverpool Vision chief executive, Jim Gill, said: "The figures for take-up in 2007 show the continued strength of the commercial office market in the city and the strong shift in demand for quality office space, whether new or refurbished. The year also confirmed the investor appetite for Liverpool. The current year is likely to see more difficult market conditions, but we are already seeing a healthy level of deals in the first quarter, around 160,000 sq ft, and the Liverpool market is in good shape to make further progress."

Stuart Keppie, chairman of the Merseyside Property Forum, said: "The improvement in Liverpool's central business district appears to be reflected in the midtown and out of town market analysis, where there has been a healthy level of take-up in 2007, following an expansion in office supply, particularly for new business park space. The creative/media industries have been particularly active in these markets, accounting for take- up of 113,000 sq ft. This coincides with the impact of Liverpool's European Capital of Culture status."

  • For your free copy of the Office Market Review please contact Liverpool Vision on 0151 707 8007.

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