Leeds Office Agents’ Forum reports 2023 take-up

The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF) has released figures showing an increase in office take-up in Leeds city centre, which reached 651,461 sq ft in 2023. This was a five percent increase compared to 2022 and marked the highest level recorded since 2019.

In the final three months of 2023, city centre office take-up totalled 112,272 sq ft across 32 deals, with an average deal size of around 3,500 sq ft. Four deals over 10,000 sq ft completed – the largest was the 13,466 sq ft prelet to Barnett Waddingham at City Square House.

Commenting on LOAF’s data, Sam Jamieson, associate at Cushman & Wakefield, commented: “City centre office take-up for the entire year easily surpassed the five-year average. With a total of 126 transactions, we saw more businesses move in 2023 than any other year since the start of Covid.

“Last year, occupier demand for Grade A space remained healthy making up 73% of overall take-up and an average deal size across the entire year of 5,195 sq ft. Demand from businesses in the Professional Services sector was the strongest, accounting for 30% of total city centre take-up, and the Banking and Financial Services sector contributed to 29%.”

Tom Brammeld, JLL’s head of Office Agency for Yorkshire, added: “Looking at how the city centre market will perform in 2024, the future supply of Grade A space remains a critical factor. At the end of 2023, 220,000 sq ft of Grade A space was available resulting in a decrease in the vacancy rate to 1.6%.

“With no new schemes currently committed to start construction in 2024 the development pipeline is constrained with only those schemes on site being guaranteed to add to the overall city supply levels.”

In the final three months of 2023 activity in the out-of-town market increased by 21 percent compared with the same period in 2022, with a total of 73,379 sq ft transacted. The largest deal in Quarter 4 was the 12,300 sq ft acquisition of Unit 4 at Temple Point, Colton Mill.

Leeds Office Agents Forum members are 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.