Leeds Q2 city centre office activity buoyed by inward investment deal
According to Leeds office market data compiled by Sanderson Weatherall on behalf of the Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF), city centre occupier take-up in the second quarter of 2014 (Q2 2014) reached 103,729 sq ft compared with 203,145 sq ft across 23 transactions in the same period last year.
The quarterly take-up figures from LOAF show 25 city centre office deals completed between April – June 2014 with the largest being a significant inward investment transaction to Sanef. The French motorway operator’s decision to take 24,242 sq ft of space at St John’s Centre is set to create around 300 new jobs for Leeds.
Richard Dunn, partner at Sanderson Weatherall commented: “Attracting inward investment is crucial to the economy of any regional city; Sanef’s decision to open a new call centre underlines Leeds’ position as a great place for business. There is also a decent batch of occupier requirements circulating the market and we anticipate some larger pre-lets will conclude in the second half of the year boosting current take-up levels. “
“City centre office leasing activity in Q2 was, by and large, in line with the Forum’s expectations and is around the five year average for this period. 2013 was a bumper year for Leeds with take-up exceeding both 10 and 15 year average levels and Q2 2013, in particular, was uncharacteristically high; it’s important therefore to keep year-on-year comparisons in perspective.”
“Overall office vacancy rates are now at their lowest level since 2006 and well below average levels. There was however two new construction starts at Central Square and 6 Wellington Place and equally, we are seeing a number of refurbishment completions meaning that the worrying lack of Grade A product should fall away in due course.”
“The Leeds’ out-of-town office market has remained muted with 17 deals equating to 48,018 sq ft in Q2 although we are forecasting improved transactional activity for the latter part of the year.”
The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum was established, by the leading property consultancy firms based in Leeds, to collate and distribute definitive market information. Its members are Sanderson Weatherall, BNP Paribas, Carter Towler, CBRE, Colliers International, DTZ, Eddisons, GVA, JLL, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Ryden, Savills and WSB.