Three long standing requirements boosted office take-up in Leeds in the first three months of the year according to the latest activity data compiled by the Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF).
The quarterly occupier figures from LOAF show that office take-up in the first quarter of 2017 (Q1 2017) reached 104,936 sq ft compared with 109,682 sq ft in the final quarter of 2016. In all, 22 city centre deals completed between January to March this year boosted by the conclusion of two major office requirements. The first of which, and the largest city centre deal, was the letting to Willis Towers Watson who signed for 25,968 sq ft at 5 Wellington Place. The conclusion of BW Legal’s requirement with its acquisition of the entirety of 1 Apex View was the only other deal over 20,000 sq ft to be recorded in Q1 2017.
Steven Jones from Eddisons and spokesperson for the LOAF said: “We saw a positive start to the year as a number of long running office requirements came to fruition. Leeds as a city has shown itself to be good shape and is currently enjoying a relative position of strength as occupiers adapt to the uncertainty around Britain’s future relationship with the EU.
“Given the focus on high quality city centre buildings we are seeing a trend for businesses to ‘trade-up’ their space to even better quality or for more characterful offices. As a result, we expect new prime city centre office rents to move on from £27.50 per sq ft as the year progresses due to Grade A new build schemes approaching practical completion, coupled with unsatisfied occupier demand.”
According to the Forum, the Leeds out-of-town office market saw a similar number of deals completed compared to the previous quarter. 55,743 sq ft of offices was taken up across 20 separate transactions compared with 28,942 sq ft over 21 deals in Q4 2016.
A further long running office requirement completed in the out-of-town market with the 10,200 sq ft letting to Bellway Homes at 2150 Century Way, Thorpe Park. The freehold acquisition by Clayton Holmes Naisbitt of 1 John Charles Way, comprising 9,500 sq ft, was another significant transaction.
Alex Hailey from CBRE added: “With a large proportion of take up in this first quarter from existing office requirements, all eyes continue to look to the public sector which is set to headline regional office demand this year. The Forum anticipates the GPU requirement in Leeds to boost activity this year and help counter any impact of slower economic growth on office demand.”
The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum was established in 2010 by the leading surveying firms to collate and distribute definitive market information. Its members are BNP Paribas, Carter Towler, Carter Jonas, CBRE, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, Eddisons, Fox Lloyd Jones, Bilfinger GVA, JLL, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Ryden, Sanderson Weatherall, Savills and WSB.