Bristol office market remains buoyant during uncertain times

The Distillery, Bristol

Following a flying start to 2022 the Bristol office market has continued to demonstrate its resilience to ongoing uncertainty, reports the Bristol Office Agents Society. Strong activity across the board has resulted in the highest take up levels for Q2 in the last 3 years in both the city centre and out of town markets. This gives optimism for the rest of 2022 and continues to highlight Bristol’s strength as a regional city.

Bristol’s City Centre market saw 31 deals complete in the second quarter with a healthy take up of 143,609 sq ft. This brings the total take up for the first half of 2022 to 377,884 sq ft which is over 100,000 sq ft ahead of the 5-year average for this period.

Following several larger deals in Q1 there has been a further 4 lettings over 10,000 sq ft this quarter, the largest of which is Pax8’s acquisition of 24,375 sq ft at Royal London’s newly developed The Distillery. In addition to this Runway East have expanded into a further 16,442 sq ft at One Victoria Street, HLK have signed a pre-let of 12,592 sq ft at One Portwall square and Techmodal have moved to 11,447 sq ft at the newly refurbished Pivot+Mark. There are also still several larger requirements being circulated in the market, so this improved take up looks set to continue.

Headline rents in Bristol City Centre are stable at £42.50psf. Tenant priorities remain for high quality space with requirements for wellbeing and sustainability at the forefront of most acquisitions now.

Following a positive start to 2022, the out-of-town market has seen a more subdued second quarter with take up of 46,614 sq ft, however this is the highest Q2 take up for the last 3 years and demonstrates that after being hit hard by the pandemic this market is making a comeback. A further 10 deals were transacted in the last 3 months, the largest of which was AE Technology’s freehold acquisition of 20,829 sq ft at 2420 Aztec West.

Martin Booth, Partner at Knight Frank commented “With the H1 figures at their highest level for 6 years there is a real positivity in the office market. Whilst there is ongoing office development within the city, there is a real paucity of space to be delivered this year which will further tighten supply in the short to medium term”.

Lambert Smith Hampton’s Office Agency Director Peter Musgrove added; “The take up, especially in the city centre, for Q2 remains very impressive given the uncertainty that we have seen (and continue to see) in the wider economy. Overall, the outlook remains very positive as office demand remains high for good quality accommodation in the region which will see take up levels continue to improve throughout the year.”