A hat-trick for Hartnell Taylor Cook LLP as Bristol’s office take up hits record levels

The take up of office space in 2014 is the highest recorded since 2007 and signals a return to pre-recession market conditions according to Hartnell Taylor Cook LLP commenting on the publication of the latest take up figures by the Office Agents Society. 2014 also saw Hartnell Taylor Cook LLP secure the hat-trick of leading market deals with the largest office lettings in both the City Centre and out of town market and the largest development sale.

Chris Grazier, the partner in charge of office agency at Hartnell Taylor Cook LLP said: “2014 increased demand in all sectors of the office market but most notably in deals over 20,000 sq ft, especially in the last quarter of the year which saw the 6 largest in town deals being completed.  Overall the take up of office space in the city centre increased by 66% over the previous year and almost doubled out of town”.

He continues: “2014 was a great year for the agency team at Hartnell Taylor Cook LLP, we were responsible for the largest office letting both in city centre and out of town.  We let Keypoint in North Bristol for our clients CBRE Global Investors to TSB which totalled just under 64,000 sq ft and also acted for BT, the landlords of the largest city centre letting at 1 Rivergate, Temple Quay, where our client let the entire 70,000 sq ft building to OVO Energy.

If the figures for offices sold for development during the year are added to the occupier take up, then the take up figures are even more impressive and total 1,571,397 sq ft, the highest ever recorded in the city.

Andrew Batchelor, development partner at Hartnell Taylor Cook LLP adds: “With the government encouraging owners of redundant office buildings to change their use to residential, there has been over a quarter of million square feet of former offices being converted which equates to one third of the total office take up.

We at Hartnell Taylor Cook LLP were involved in a number of building sales, including the largest sale of the year which was the sale of Norfolk House to developers Princeton who are now in the process of converting the redundant office building to student accommodation and we believe due to the strength of this market there will be more of these types of deals in 2015.”

Chris Grazier concludes:  “The take up in 2014 has made a major dent on the stock of available offices, especially for larger headquarter buildings and consequently I am sure we will see rental growth over the next twelve months and a return of pre-let activity.  At the lower end of the market, more landlords may consider undertaking refurbishment works to enhance the value of the property rather than sell it for residential as rental and capital values rise.

Bristol is an attractive city to live in and has a strong commercial base which should continue to grow in 2015 but a close eye has to be kept on future office supply as this could cause stagnation.”