Q1 2023 Leeds take-up shows renewed confidence in city centre offices

Office take-up figures for the first three months of 2023, released by the Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF), reflect a renewed confidence in the city centre from businesses continuing to invest in their workplaces.

A total of 266,714 sq ft of office space, across 34 city centre deals, was recorded in the first three months from January to the end of March (Q1 2023), a 116 percent increase compared with the same quarter in 2022.

The largest letting was to Lloyds Banking Group who is set to relocate to 124,400 sq ft of offices at 11&12 Wellington Place by spring 2024. The pre-let to Markel Insurance, who acquired 19,956 sq ft at City Square House was another notable deal to a financial services company already well established in Leeds. Markel is expected to move during early 2024 when the building completes.

“The continued activity from already well-established businesses in Leeds has led to a very healthy level of city centre take up,” said Jeff Pearey from JLL. “Buoyed by the letting to Lloyds, their arrival at Wellington Place not only cements Lloyds as a signature occupier, but it also endorses their long legacy in the city and is hugely important for the Yorkshire market.”

Alex Hailey from CBRE added: “Along with the letting to Markel Insurance another significant deal was the 16,500 sq ft freehold purchase of 8 St Paul’s Street by insurance broker W Denis, another well-established occupier in Leeds. Prime office rents in Leeds now reflect the diminishing levels of new grade A stock, and are comfortably established at £36 per sq ft, with further increases likely this year.”

Leeds’s out-of-town market experienced a similar level of activity witnessed in the final quarter of 2022. In the first three months of 2023, 60,283 sq ft of take-up was recorded across 18 deals.

The largest letting was to an established Leeds operation, Nonwovens Innovation & Research who committed to the entire building at Cast House comprising 19,827 sq ft.

Patrick Carter from Savills concluded: “In the suburban office markets, White Rose Park continued to perform strongly, attracting Hisense, the consumer electronics brand at 1 Munroe Court. This deal underlines the fact that businesses are prepared to commit to the best space for headquarter premises.”

The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum is made up of Avison Young, BNP Paribas Real Estate, Bowcliffe, Carter Towler, Carter Jonas, CBRE, Colliers, Cushman & Wakefield, Fox Lloyd Jones, JLL, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Sanderson Weatherall, Savills, and WSB.