According to the Manchester Office Agents Forum, take-up of almost 300,000 sq ft was recorded in the city centre during the third quarter of this year, taking 2019 so far to above the five-year average.
The total take-up for the year to date sits at 1.1m sq ft, with 2019 predicted to be another strong year of city centre deals following the record 2018 which reached 1.7m sq ft.
MOAF reported that 71 office deals completed in the city during the third quarter of this year, higher than the number of deals in the first and second quarters, with the largest being 35,500 sq ft let to Marker Study at M&G and Intu’s Arndale House. Other deals include 28,800 sq ft let to Capita Business Services at Helical’s Lee House and 26,250 sq ft to Regus at BA Pension Fund’s St James’s Tower.
Andrew Cooke, associate of the office agency team at Savills Manchester, said: “After a very strong first half of the year, office take-up in Manchester city centre has remained robust in the third quarter with a significant number of lettings to a broad range of occupiers. Despite the ongoing political and macro-economic uncertainties, occupational demand remains positive, with 2019 set to be another strong year for city centre take up.”
Outside of the city centre, Salford Quays and Trafford reported its strongest quarter of the year, totalling 81,700 sq ft, bringing the total for 2019 so far to 204,000 sq ft. September saw 15 deals, with the largest being 20,700 sq ft to The Doctors Laboratory at Regents Court.
Steve Brittle, senior associate at Matthews & Goodman said: “Following a strong first half year, lettings in Salford Quays and Trafford have remained buoyant which is demonstrated by the number of deals transacted. With demand remaining encouraging and the quantity of existing requirements in the marketplace we should continue to see strong take up during the final quarter of the year.”
In the South Manchester market, which includes some parts of North Cheshire, Sale, Altrincham, Stockport and Didsbury, 131,500 sq ft was taken bringing the total for the year to 410,000 sq ft, significantly below the equivalent period for 2018. MOAF suggested this was due to 2018 being a “record breaking” year, buoyed by deals such as Royal London taking 175,000 sq ft at Alderley Park. Agents said there continues to be pent up demand in the South Manchester market, as several major transactions are due to complete by the end of the year.
Significant deals included The Lakehouse in Cheadle with ME Group Holdings taking 37,000 sq ft and Dow Chemical Company committing to 25,000 sq ft at Oakfield 4, Cheadle Royal Business Park.
Elsewhere, Warrington recorded its strongest quarter for 2019, with 87,168 sq ft transacted. The year now totals 191,000 sq ft, with the largest deal for this quarter being 13,600 sq ft let to Ainsworth Projects at The Academy.
Formed in 2009, MOAF members include Avison Young, BE Group, CBRE, Colliers International, Canning O’Neill, Cushman & Wakefield, Edwards & Co, Hallams Property Consultants, JLL, Knight Frank, LSH, Matthews & Goodman, OBI Property, Savills, Sixteen Real Estate, and TSG Property Consultants.