Manchester and Liverpool 1m sq ft apart

Office take-up reached 1.32m sq ft in Manchester city centre in 2010 compared to an estimated 210,000 sq ft for central Liverpool.

Manchester's take-up was a rise of 66% on figures of 793,506 sq ft for 2009 and was 39% above the five-year average of 950,320 sq ft. The highest rent achieved during 2010 equated to £30/sq ft.

The most notable transaction of 2010 was the Co-Operative Group's pre-letting of 328,000 sq ft at Miller Street. There were Grade A lettings in the professional service sector to DWF (82,995 sq ft), MMC (39,482 sq ft) and Barlow Lyde Gilbert (31,011 sq ft).

James Evans, director at Savills and spokesman for the forum, said: "When one considers the global economic picture coupled with uncertainty surrounding the public sector austerity measures, these figures illustrate a very strong year for Manchester. Undoubtedly the occupational markets throughout Greater Manchester remain challenging, however this level of take up further underpins both occupier and investor confidence in the region."

By contrast, Liverpool had a poor year, with agents estimating a total for office take-up of 210,000 sq ft, with the 30,000 sq ft letting to Liverpool FC at Rumford Investments' 20 Chapel Street the biggest deal.

The official figures have yet to be published by Liverpool Vision and Professional Liverpool.

The Manchester forum said South Manchester also experienced a marginally better 2010 with the year-end tally standing at 483,641 sq ft, an improvement of 4% on 2009's figures (466,299 sq ft) though still representing a decline on the five-year average figure of 550,000 sq ft. A number of high-profile new occupiers entered the South Manchester region including BSkyB, John Lewis and SPX.

The Forum's general view is that the supply of large floorplate, Grade A stock within Manchester City Centre is steadily being eroded and consequently will place upward pressure on Grade A rents and start to reduce incentive packages. In addition activity in South Manchester looks set to continue with a number of larger Multi national corporates already considering their occupational requirements for 2011.

2010 Greater Manchester Office Take-up



Size (Sq Ft)


Size (Sq Ft)


Size (Sq Ft)


Size (Sq Ft)


Total to date

Manchester City Centre






South Manchester






Old Trafford






Salford Quays












The Manchester Office Agents Forum exists to promote better knowledge of the Manchester City Region office market providing accurate market statistics and informed market commentary. Formed in 2009 its current members include CB Richard Ellis, Canning O'Neill, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, DTZ, Drivers Jonas Deloitte, Edwards & Co, GVA Grimley, Jones Lang LaSalle, King Sturge, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, P3 Property Consultants, Savills, WHR and Matthews and Goodman.

Your Comments

A similar gulf exists in the Premier League!


Interesting who this study was carried out by – has due consideration been given to what the forum should consider as ‘Greater Liverpool’ Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens, Prescot given that Greater Manchester includes all the areas that dont actually want to be in Manchester and have their own identity – but suit to be included for these purposes to create this gulf.

By Hong Kong Phooey

Hong Kong Phooey – The fact remains that Liverpool city centre v Manchester city centre is where the huge gulf is. That is what this article is comparing, not Greater Manchester. The additional statistics for the greater Manchester region are an add on to the report. I would however guess that if a similar report was to be carried out by the Greater Liverpool area or Merseyside, the gulf would be similar.

By Pfft

So, there’s 1m sq ft more market churn in Manchester than Liverpool? When was the last significant new letting to a private business in either city? Willy waving about this seems unnecessary and, as usual, thoroughly unpleasant.

By Gulf Phwoor

Hong Kong Phooey, you clearly have a chip on your shoulder – let me relieve you of it! First of all, take a few minutes to go and sit down in a dark room and actually THINK about what you have written. Secondly, how about you take some time and trouble, to actually document all of the deals in ‘Greater Liverpool’ before questioning the figures Manchester have reported?! For the record: The published figure of 1.32m sq.ft relates only to Manchester’s city centre market. Even without the largest deal (Coop), Manchester’s figures are only marginally under 1m sq.ft and ahead of the 5 year average….AND the 10 year average. Figures for other regions of Greater Manchester are provided separately in the report, as clearly outlined by Place NW. The Manchester Office Agents Forum have not included transactions which took place in a number of towns, which could easily be considered part of Greater Manchester. These include: Oldham, Bolton, Rochdale & Wigan, plus several others. So, why don’t you do a comparison yourself with the ‘Greater Liverpool’ figures and see if you are right or not? PROVE us wrong if you can?! If you do, then please share the results with Place NW, so that any readers who might think you’re probably a bit daft – like me – can establish the truth beyond doubt?!

By An Agent

Gulf, that is a fair question and it depends I suppose on what you term as a ‘significant new letting’. HBJ Gately Waring took over 30,000 sq ft in Ship Canal House this year as well as Barlow Lyde Gilbert taking over 30,000 sq ft in Chancery Place – although they both filled that space largely with former Halliwells staff. However, there are many smaller examples and those smaller new lettings will be the larger ‘churn’ of future years as they grow. This continued growth (whether in Liverpool, Manchester or both) is the real positive issue, as that is how jobs are created. In order for that to happen, you need landlords and developers providing quality space for these companies to operate from and strong take-up figures like those announced today enable that to happen. Anyone is entitled to disagree with this, but it would be wrong to rubbish the figures like Hong Kong Phooey did earlier.

By An Agent

I agree with you on HKF An Agent. All take up signals positive economic activity which we clearly badly need – now more than ever. It’s the small-mindedness that grates (on both ‘sides’). Maybe I should just lighten up? Organisations like Bruntwood don’t have issues with letting in any city or town.

By Gulf phwoor

Agreed – money in Liverpool is as valuable as that in Manchester, or anywhere else! Good debate – I’ve enjoyed it!

By An Agent

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