Lack of supply results in subdued quarter for Bristol’s office market

James Preece, director in the National Offices team in the Bristol office of Colliers International

Bristol’s in and out of town office markets have both experienced a “subdued” third quarter, according to the latest analysis from global real estate advisor Colliers International.

The firm’s Q3 research shows that overall take-up in the city was only 184,500 sq ft, with no individual transactions of over 20,000 sq ft.

Several sizeable deals failed to complete within the three-month period, but will instead fall into the final three months of the year.

In the city centre, Q3 office take-up stood at 126,000 sq ft, which was 25 per cent down on the same period last year, however prime rents remained at £35 psf.

The largest in town deal saw financial services firm Rowan Dartington lease 19,440 sq ft at Temple Point.

While financial services dominated city centre leasing activity in Q3, serviced offices have been most active this year in terms of total square feet leased. Media and tech firms were more active over the same period in terms of the number of deals completed, with 21 transactions in the sector.

Out of town, take-up in Q3 stood at only 58,500 sq ft, with prime rents also static, at £23 psf.

The largest deal this quarter saw Mitie take 16,915 sq ft at The Chocolate Factory in Keynsham.

Engineering firms dominated year-to-date take-up out of town, not only in terms of sq ft leased, but also in the number of deals.

James Preece, National Offices Director at Colliers International in the South West and Wales, said: “Despite the unimpressive statistics for the third quarter, the city centre has continued to see good levels of demand, with transactions in the smaller size bands helping to buoy city centre leasing activity this year.

“We are aware of two very significant transactions that have now slipped to the final three months of this year. One of these will set a new prime rent for the city and the other is the largest pre-let in almost 30 years.

“Lack of supply has seen some occupiers renewing in their existing space and this has also impacted on the levels of take-up to date. With a number of new buildings and refurbishments due to complete in the near future, this will assist in increasing movement within the market.”