Leeds office market off to a flying start in 2019

Central Square, Leeds

According to data compiled by the leading office agents in Leeds, take-up of office space in the first quarter of 2019 reached 222,318 sq ft in Leeds city centre and 70,928 sq ft in the out-of-town market.

39 city centre office deals completed in the first three months of this year with six transactions over 10,000 sq ft in size completing. The largest was the letting to Link Asset Services who is relocating from Wakefield and Huddersfield to Central Square in a 71,000 sq ft deal which means the building is now fully let.

In the out-of-town office market, 30 deals completed with the biggest being the 6,100 sq ft letting to the Lovell Partnership at Turnberry Park. While occupier activity was down by 18% compared with the same period in 2018 there were however six more transactions.

Richard Dunn from Sanderson Weatherall, spokesperson for the Leeds Office Agents’ Forum, said: “Despite the understandable wider economic uncertainty, city centre take-up was 15% higher than the same period in 2018.

“The largest letting, which will see Link Asset Services relocate their office to Leeds, reflects a growing tendency for larger businesses to cluster in and around the city centre. With Channel 4 confirming it is in advanced negotiations to lease space at Majestic we expect more media-related businesses to look at co-locating in Leeds this year.”

The Forum highlights the continued occupier focus for Grade A offices means that the lack of new office supply remains a key issue. Just one speculative city centre scheme is due to complete in 2019 (29-30 Boar Lane) with Majestic and MEPC’s No. 4 Wellington Place set to bring further space to the market in 2020.

Richard Fraser from Carter Towler continued: “With the ongoing reduction in Grade A choice for occupiers, headline rents have strengthened and £30 per sq ft is now firmly established for the best office space.

“Compared with major regional cities such as Bristol, Birmingham or Manchester, Leeds still offers strong value for money for office space. As well as the three city centre schemes on site, further speculative development in selected out-of-town locations, such as Thorpe Park, will help address the supply imbalance.”

The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum was established to collate and distribute definitive office market data. Its members are BNP Paribas, Bowcliffe, Carter Towler, Carter Jonas, CBRE, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, Eddisons, Fox Lloyd Jones, GVA, JLL, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Ryden, Sanderson Weatherall, Savills and WSB.