Take-up of space in Manchester’s city centre office market was down 37% in the first half of this year to 416,115 sq ft, but activity remains “solid” if “unremarkable”, according to agents.
Figures compiled by Manchester Office Agents Forum showed 220,587 sq ft of transactions in the second quarter of the year. MOAF said “whilst the performance of the market was unremarkable it was solid.”
There were 73 transactions concluded in Q2, 121 in the first half altogether. The letting of 10,883 sq ft to Mazars at One St Peter’s Square, Serco’s letting of 32,974 sq ft at Martin’s House and Bruntwood’s relocation to York House, absorbing 10,591 sq ft, were standouts.
Rob Yates, director and head of North West office agency at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “With key lettings such as Freshfields at One New Bailey due to complete shortly and other large scale requirements progressing well, take-up in central Manchester will be boosted during the second half of the year. We anticipate the final figure will top 1m sq ft, in line with the five-year average for the city. The supply and demand dynamics are finely balanced in all of the markets we monitor and if some of the known requirements complete during H2 2016 we could face a scenario where demand for the best available space would outstrip the supply.”
In South Manchester the half year take up total is 241,119 sq ft, a 19% decrease on the corresponding period from 2015. Encouragingly however large scale owner occupiers have returned to the market as evidenced by Boutinot Wines acquisition of 18,477 sq ft at the Point in Cheadle and Southway Housing’s acquisition of a 2 acre site in Didsbury for the construction of a 20,000 sq ft HQ building.
In Warrington, take-up for H1 was 187,612 sq ft, which is 25% up on the corresponding period in 2015. The highlights in Q2 were again in Birchwood where 10,475 sq ft was let to Muller at Patrizia’s Birchwood Park and 12,085 sq ft was acquired by Firstsource at Cinnamon Park.
Formed in 2009, MOAF members include OBI Property, CBRE, Colliers, Canning O’Neill, Cushman & Wakefield, Edwards & Co, Bilfinger GVA, JLL, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Matthews & Goodman, Savills, TSG Property Consultants, WHR and BE Group.