GVA’s Big Nine Report shows Cardiff’s city centre offices strength in numbers

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Tom Merrifield, Director, GVA, Cardiff

GVA’s latest Big Nine Report paints a strong picture for the Cardiff City Centre Offices market. The city is the only one of the nine major centres reviewed in the report to record above average take-up in Quarter One this year, delivering well over 100,000 sq ft for the fourth quarter in succession.

The city has achieved two stand-out Grade A deals with the Cardiff University School of Journalism taking 44,500 sq ft at 2 Central Square, due for completion next year, and Network Rail taking 31,500 sq ft at St Patrick’s House.

In fact, Cardiff University’s letting at 2 Central Square is the largest city centre deal recorded in Quarter One within the Big Nine report – which includes cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.

Cardiff’s total city centre take-up for Quarter One stands at 123,290 sq ft, compared to its five-year quarterly average of 95,507 sq ft.

Tom Merrrifield, Director at leading property adviser GVA in Cardiff says, “The level of transactional activity in the city this quarter is very encouraging. These two deals have placed Cardiff at the top of the table to start the year. The rest of the UK has experienced particularly low take-up this quarter, showing the weakest level for five years, and 23% below average.

“Deals within the education sector, led by Cardiff University, and an acquisition by Bristol University of 31,780 sq ft, saw the education sector make up 15% of total activity. Professional services made up 28% of all take-up nationally over 5,000 sq ft, higher than the usual profile.”

Despite not achieving its five-year quarterly average, Manchester still soars ahead in take-up, recording 208,233 sq ft in the city centre, and 188,833 sq ft out of town. In the same time period, Birmingham recorded 136,203 sq ft, and Bristol 126,319 sq ft.