City centre office market off to a flyer – Bristol Office Agents Society

Martin Booth, Offices Agency Partner at Knight Frank in Bristol

The Office Agents Society of Bristol has just released the office take up figures for Q1 2020. The figures for Bristol city centre show an outstanding level of demand with take up of 219,420 sq ft – a full 50 per cent above the 10 year average. Conversely, Bristol’s out of town markets remained most subdued with take up of just 29,089 sq ft.

Strong take up in the city centre over a sustained period has now brought current availability down to approximately 455,000 sq ft, representing just 3.6 per cent of office stock. With new development completions limited to just 93,000 sq ft in 2020 – and no completions scheduled in 2021 – the shortfall in high quality office stock will not be redressed in the near future.

Key transactions in Q1 included Sanlam’s acquisition of 20,000 sq ft within One Temple Quay, Call Credit’s acquisition of 16,000 sq ft within Programme and Osborne Clarke’s pre-letting of nearly 74,000 sq ft within Halo at Finzels Reach.

Martin Booth, Partner within Knight Frank’s office Agency team, commented “The last two quarters have provided record-breaking levels of take up for Bristol’s city centre office market. That in itself is reason to be positive about the office market going forward. More noteworthy, in my mind, is the diversity of occupiers taking space which will give the market significant resilience in forthcoming months”.

Roxine Foster, Associate Director at Lambert Smith Hampton and Chairperson of the Office Agents Society added, “The strong levels of take up have led to further rises in rents to record levels across all grades of space. In the short term prudent landlords will need to listen to their tenant’s issues and provide significant flexibility. Those that respond positively to this challenge will likely see high occupancy and greater loyalty moving forwards”.