The Manchester Office Agents Forum (MOAF) has announced a record year for office take up in Manchester with the final figure in the city centre reaching 1,750,276 square feet across 314 transactions.
This is well above the 10-year average and surpasses the previous record of 1,331,557 sq. ft set in 2014.
The final quarter saw 513,171 sq. ft. of deals with the most sizeable transactions being Amazon leasing 89,449 sq. ft. at Hanover, WeWork taking another 76,174 sq. ft. at Dalton Place and Manchester City Council moving to 33,223 sq. ft. at City Road. Over the course of 2018 the largest deals were HMRC taking a pre-let of 157,000 sq. ft. at 3 New Bailey Street and Booking.com announcing their new 225,000 sq. ft. facility at Allied London’s Manchester Good’s Yard.
Harry Skinner, Associate Director at Avison Young said: “The performance of the market in 2018 clearly demonstrates that despite the backdrop of political uncertainty Manchester is going from strength to strength. The improved transport infrastructure, significant leisure offering, and vast University talent pool are all factors pulling occupiers towards Manchester over other regional cities. Proactive landlords and developers who have been willing to invest in buildings to provide a quality product have achieved success.”
MOAF forecast a good start to 2019 with several large requirements due to complete in the first half of the year, and there is an improved supply of new Grade A space coming through to satisfy upcoming demand, for example 125 Deansgate, Landmark and Number 8 First Street due for completion this year.
Salford Quays and Old Trafford again performed strongly with 92 transactions totalling 346,470 sq. ft, a 22% increase on 2017.
South Manchester saw 790,029 sq. ft change hands across 259 transactions which represents another record figure. There were 18 deals over 10,000 square feet, with the largest being Royal London relocating to 157,000 sq. ft. at Alderley Park.
Mark Cooke, Associate Director at Avison Young commented: “The out of town markets have kept pace with the city centre posting exceptional results in 2018. We have seen strong rental growth, particularly in locations with good on-site amenities and public transport links. With large requirements such as The Hut Group close to concluding a deal on Phase 1 & 2 of their new HQ at Airport City, 2019 should be another strong year.”
MOAF members include Avison Young, BE Group, CBRE, Colliers International, Canning O’Neill, Cushman and Wakefield, Edwards and Co, GVA, Hallam Property Consultants, JLL, Knight Frank, LSH, Matthews and Goodman, OBI, Savills, Sixteen Real Estate, TGS Property Consultants.