Take-up of office space in Manchester city centre was more than double the corresponding period of 2017, with total take-up for Q1 2018 reaching 442,083 sq ft, according to the Manchester Office Agents Forum (MOAF).
The standout transaction was the pre-letting of 3 New Bailey to HM Revenue & Customs, a deal totalling 157,153 sq ft, the largest pre letting in central Manchester for over a decade.
In total, there were 82 transactions completed in Q1, other notable deals included Irwin Mitchell (33,382 sq ft) and CBRE (11,309 sq ft) both taking space at One St Peter’s Square. Together with the 3 New Bailey deal, these three transactions accounted for 45% of all take-up in Manchester city centre.
Rob Yates, Partner and Head of North West office agency at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The pre-letting of 3 New Bailey is a watershed for the city. We have long been of the view that the supply of quality office accommodation is constrained and savvy occupiers are having to respond to this by committing to pre-lets. This deal is a significant milestone for Manchester. Not only is it one of the largest in the city for over a decade, it’s also one of the biggest regional office lettings completed in the first three months of this year. After a strong start we expect the final 2018 take-up figures will top 1m sq ft for the fifth consecutive year.”
In South Manchester, Q1 take-up totalled 178,189 sq ft, a 27% increase on the corresponding period from 2017. Encouragingly large scale occupiers have returned to the market as evidenced by the Hut Group’s acquisition of 40,283 sq ft at the 4M Manchester Airport. In Warrington, take-up for Q1 was 70,680 sq ft, which is a 17% decrease on the corresponding period in 2017. The highlights in Q1 were at Lingley Mere where 10,817 sq ft was let to Asics and at Cinnabar Court where 10,200 sq ft was acquired by Greensil.
Paul Mills, at Obi Property, said: “The Q1 figures for out-of-town office markets are encouraging. There is a good quantity of larger requirements circulating in the marketplace and we therefore expect take up to continue to be very strong during the remainder 2018.”
Formed in 2009, MOAF members include Avison Young, BE Group, CBRE, Colliers International, Canning O’Neill, Cushman & Wakefield, Edwards & Co, GVA, Hallams Property Consultants, JLL, Knight Frank, LSH, Matthews & Goodman, OBI Property, Savills, Sixteen Real Estate, and TSG Property Consultants.