MOAF: Manchester take-up tops 1.3m sq ft

Office take-up in the city centre reached more than 1.3m sq ft in 2014 according to the Manchester Office Agents Forum, the highest since 2001.

The figure was based on 319 transactions.

MOAF confirmed that the total was up 55% on the 2013 and is almost a 39% increase on the city's 10 year average.

The growth was attributed to an increase in take-up across the whole market rather than one particularly large letting.

The most notable transactions in 2014 were at 3 Hardman Square with more than 65,000 sq ft let to Towergate Insurance and TLT Solicitors, Slater & Gordon's acquisition of 58 Mosley Street totalling 107,182 sq ft, and just under 100,000 sq ft being let at Piccadilly Place in two transactions to NuGeneration and Barclays Bank. Ask's First Street development successfully let just over 100,000 sq ft to Trader Media Group, Ford Capital and Gazprom, and One St Peters Square secured 54,000 sq ft with a letting to DLA Piper and further expansion space for KPMG.

MOAF predicted that increasing demand and a limited supply of prime office accommodation would continue to fuel rental growth in 2015 with headline rents already reaching £32/sq ft.

Take-up in South Manchester was 574,701 sq ft, down by 2% on 2013.

Key transactions included Costain taking 38,507 sq ft and Emirates 23,543 sq ft at Manchester Business Park at the Airport, Chiesi taking 18,643 sq ft at Manchester Green, John Lewis expanding into a further 24,630 sq ft at Towers in Didsbury, CDL taking 30,000 sq ft at Kings Reach, Stockport, and Contour Housing purchasing 23,582 sq ft at Christie Fields.

Salford Quays and Old Trafford accounted for a further 128,457 sq ft and although down on 2013 took the total recorded office take up for Greater Manchester to more than 2m sq ft.

Anthony Howcroft, associate partner at WHR Property Consultants and spokesman for MOAF, said: "In a year when significant devolved powers were announced for Manchester, the city's office market has proved itself to be a powerhouse on the national stage.

"Significantly, the number of transactions at rents above £25.00/sq ft has more than doubled, both in terms of the amount of space transacted and the percentage of the overall market, accounting for over 21% of all office space leased in 2014, this confirms the rental growth much talked about throughout the year."

MOAF members include BE Group, CBRE, Canning O'Neill, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, DTZ, Deloitte, Edwards & Co, GVA, JLL, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Matthews & Goodman, OBI property, Savills, TSG Property Consultants and WHR Property Consultants.

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Well said Tony – Give that man a job!!