Manchester named best performing regional city for office take up in 2016

John Nash, director at Canning O’Neill, and MOAF spokesperson

The Manchester Office Agents Forum (MOAF) has recorded the highest quarter figures since 2010 with 621,016 sq ft let across 83 transactions in Q4 of 2016. The final quarter figures take overall take up to 1,306,599 sq ft, showing consistency with figures from the previous two years.

The strong final quarter figures enhance Manchester’s reputation as the best performing regional office market, outperforming cities including, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds and Bristol.

Key transactions include a 165,005 sq ft deal to Swinton Insurance at Ask’s 101 Embankment; a 45,446 sq ft letting to Co-op Digital at Federation House, NOMA and 63,661 sq ft of space sold to Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) at 6 Marlborough Street in the city centre. New build office schemes including No. 1 Spinningfields and XYZ building also announced deals on over 50,000 sq ft Grade ‘A’ space in the final quarter as supply continues to tighten.

CBRE topped the table in terms of table in terms of total sq ft let in the city centre across 39 transactions.

DISPOSALS Total sq ft let No. of transactions
CBRE 346807 39
OBI 324280 66
C&W 317522 22
JLL 264290 37
Edwards & Co 241811 84
WHR 202565 50
Canning O’Neill 184023 50
Savills 148401 31
Colliers 138098 26
GVA 83463 16

For acquisitions in the city centre, WHR acquired the largest amount of space at 171,716 sq ft across 4 transactions.

ACQUISITIONS Total sq ft No. of transactions
WHR 171716 4
Knight Frank 147176 3
C&W 131666 4
OBI 126901 21
JLL 25177 6
Edwards & Co 15673 2
GVA 15153 3
M&G 12808 3
Canning O’Neil 11760 5
CBRE 10239 3

Salford Quays gave another strong performance, transacting 314,923 sq ft of space in 2016, including 93,000 sq ft acquired by AJ Bell at Exchange Quay.

Similarly, South Manchester reported consistent figures with reinforced its position as a stable office market, securing deals on 546,701 sq ft space compared to 563,453 sq ft in 2015.

John Nash, director at Canning O’Neill, and MOAF spokesperson, said: “Overall the market has shown resilience and take up across Manchester has remained remarkably consistent. The EU referendum certainly made a few pause for thought but the underlying strength of the occupier market shone through in the final figures.  Rents across the city have continued to see steadygrowth, with quoting rents for refurbished office space now at £30 per sq ft.”

Formed in 2009, MOAF members include CBRE, Colliers, Canning O’Neill, Cushman & Wakefield, Edwards & Co, Bilfinger GVA, JLL, Lambert Smith Hampton, Matthews & Goodman, OBI Property, Savills, TSG Property Consultants, WHR Property Consultants and BE Group.