Knight Frank completes a record £200m South West investment deals in 2015

66 Queen Square, Bristol

The Capital Markets team at the Bristol office of commercial property consultant Knight Frank is celebrating its best ever performance in the city.

During the course of 2015 the team transacted more than £200m of investment deals – a record amount for the firm in the region.

Key Knight Frank deals over the year included:

·     £32.78m acquisition of 66 Queen Square, a prime office building let to KPMG for 15 years, on behalf of Aviva.

·     £31.75m acquisition of 101 Victoria Street, comprising 114,124 sq ft of offices and 151 Travelodge Hotel, on behalf of Legal & General.

·     £24.22m acquisition of the RAC Control Centre, one of Bristol’s most iconic buildings fronting the M4/M5 interchange, on behalf of Blackrock.

·     £12.65m disposal of Pucklechurch Trading Estate, comprising 245,000 sq ft of industrial accommodation, for Commercial Estates Group.

·     £14.10m disposal of The Spectrum Building, comprising 115,000 sq ft of secondary offices, on behalf of West Register.

Nick Thurston, Capital Markets Associate, said: “2015 has been an exceptional year for the Bristol capital markets team. We have transacted over £200m of investment deals advising a selection of UK Funds, property companies, private and overseas investors.”

The office investment market in Bristol saw a sharp increase in transactions with investment volumes for 2015 totalling £350m, compared to £159m in 2014. Whilst investor demand in Q4 2015 reduced slightly, the supply of institutional stock increased at the end of the year.

“There is currently around £200m of office investments alone either on the market or under offer,” said Nick Thurston.

“The investment market has been strong for a while now with investors backing a recovery in the leasing market which is well underway. This has been helped by the fact numerous secondary and tertiary office buildings in the city centre have been sold for residential conversion which has resulted in restricted supply of secondary office space and rising rents. The supply demand dynamics and potential for rental growth provide investors with a compelling story to invest in the city.”

Knight Frank is also currently selling Parkgate, 2000 Aztec West which is let to EE Ltd with 11.5 years unexpired, with a quoting price of £20.7m.

Andy Smith, Office Agency Associate, commented: “The Bristol office market has performed well throughout 2015 with strong occupier demand and good levels of take up – a  trend which is already continuing at the beginning of 2016. Headline rents remain at an all time high of £28.50 per sq ft and are expected to increase further in 2016.

“As a consequence of healthy take up the levels of available office stock are diminishing. This has seen a number of developers acquiring buildings they intend to refurbish for office use. This is in contrast to the recent trend of conversion from office use to residential or student accomodation.

“With continued macro economics favouring the UK as a safe haven for investment and business growth and, on a micro economic scale, the outward tide of businesses from London to the regions,2016 looks set to be another strong year for the Bristol office market.”