GVA Grimley: Brighter quarter for Manchester offices

Manchester's city centre office market bounced back to health with more than 200,000 sq ft transacted in the third quarter of 2009, according to a report by GVA Grimley.

Grimleys quarterly research into the 'big six' UK cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester – found that Q3 take-up was highest in Birmingham, followed by Glasgow. Both cities' statistics were spiked by significant deals; a 196,000 sq ft letting to Birmingham City Council and a 125,000 sq ft letting to Tesco Finance in Glasgow.

Manchester take-up almost doubled from 118,209 sq ft in Q2 to 203,381 sq ft in the three months to the end of September. Manchester's Q1 take-up was just 91,752 sq ft, GVA Grimley said.

Demand has also doubled across the six cities as a whole, reaching 1.1m sq ft of deals transacted in Q3 compared with an average 480,000 sq ft recorded over the previous two quarters of 2009.

The largest deal in Manchester was NHS North West's 51,971 sq ft at Piccadilly Place. Out-of-town, the largest was Clarke Nicklin Accountants' 8,500 sq ft at Oakfield, Cheadle Royal. Q3 Manchester out-of-town take-up was flat at around 70,000 sq ft.

Headline rents are £28/sq ft in Manchester city centre and £19.50/sq ft out-of-town, Grimleys said. This was the second highest, behind Glasgow.

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