Agents in the city expect annual office take-up in the central area to hit 1.5m sq ft for the first time on record, after the third quarter of 2018 saw 480,000 sq ft change hands.
Data from the Manchester Office Agents Forum shows lettings have already surpassed 2017’s final figure of 1.21m sq ft, reaching 1.25m sq ft after a busy quarter in which the largest deal was Booking.com’s pre-let of 225,000 sq ft at Allied London’s Manchester Goods Yard.
Booking.com will use the Enterprise City location as a campus for its Rentalcars division following what was Manchester’s largest deal for more than a decade.
Mark Bamber, partner at Knight Frank and MOAF spokesman, said: “With take up so far now standing at 1,248,000 sq ft we have already exceeded 2017’s total and we could break 1.5m sq ft for the first time on record.
“This reflects the strength in depth and sheer range of Manchester occupiers and in particular the continued burgeoning demand from tech occupiers drawn to Manchester with its excellent talent pool and leisure facilities.
“This demand is underpinned by the growth in the residential sector which makes Manchester one of the most affordable and liveable cities in Europe –a key factor for attracting and retaining staff.”
MOAF expects the South Manchester market – which covers parts of north Cheshire, Manchester Airport and Didsbury – to also celebrate a record-breaking year, as the formal completion of Royal London’s deal at Alderley Park, accounting for around 140,000 sq ft, puts that market on course for its strongest year in a decade.
The figures don’t include THG’s commitment, announced in September, to building out a 1m sq ft campus at Airport City.
John Nash, director at Canning O’Neill, said: “This has proved to be an exceptional quarter for office take-up in South Manchester with the standout transaction being the acquisition at Alderley Park by Royal London and 2018 is set to be the best year for the area in over 10 years.
“Meanwhile, Salford Quays and Trafford office take-up remains on-course to top the 2017 full year figure having been boosted by the 97,000 sq ft acquisition of the former Kellogg’s offices.”
MOAF members include Avison Young, BE Group, CBRE, Colliers International, Canning O’Neill, Cushman & Wakefield, Edwards & Co, GVA, Hallams Property Consultants, JLL, Knight Frank, LSH, Matthews & Goodman, OBI, Savills, Sixteen Real Estate and TSG Property Consultants.