MOAF: City take-up totals 680,000 sq ft in first half

Manchester city centre office take-up reached 680,000 sq ft in the first half of this year according to the Manchester Office Agents Forum, down on figures recorded for the same period in 2014 when take-up totalled 800,000 sq ft.

In the city centre, take-up for the second quarter of 2015 increased slightly on the previous quarter, with 359,829 sq ft compared to 318,848. In South Manchester, figures also showed an increase from 127,109 sq ft in Q1 to 167,222 sq ft in Q2, with an H1 total of 294,331 sq ft.

Salford Quays saw a decrease from 288,574 sq ft in the first quarter to 148,069 sq ft, a total of 436,643 sq ft transacted in the first half of the year.

In Warrington, take-up more than doubled from 42,405 sq ft in Q1 to 100,879 sq ft in Q2.

Standout transactions within the past quarter included Freshfields acquiring 43,000 sq ft within Arndale House and Talk Talk’s relocation of 106,000 sq ft to The Soapworks within Salford Quays, which is the largest deal of existing space within Greater Manchester so far this year.

In 2014, the office take-up in the city centre reached more than 1.3m sq ft, up 55% on 2013 and the highest levels recorded since 2001.

David Thwaites, associate at Bilfinger GVA and chairman of MOAF, said:

“The Q2 figures are highly encouraging across all of the Greater Manchester markets with both the city centre and Salford Quays markets leading the way. Although many were of the view that 2015 would struggle to live up to the record take-up levels achieved in 2014, the first six months of the year have demonstrated that last year was far from ‘a blip’.

“With the next phase of development well underway and a number of sizeable requirements still to be satisfied, the record take-up from 2014 of 1.32m sq ft may only last a year.

“Salford Quays is having an exceptional year with the three largest deals of 2015 throughout the North West thus far – Bupa took 142,000 sq ft, Talk Talk with 106,000 sq ft and The Home Office at 55,000 sq ft which has led to a huge 152% increase in take-up in comparison with the whole of 2014 after only six months.”

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I think CoStar would disagree with these figures.