Paul Fairhurst
Mark Lane

Member Article

Pre-let activity helps to double Leeds? office take-up

The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF) has released its quarterly take-up figures for the Leeds office market which, for the first three months of 2013, show a healthy improvement in activity compared with the same period last year.

Total take-up of offices transacted in Leeds city centre reached 235,001 sq ft across 35 deals which is a 51% increase compared with the same period last year (155,847 sq ft).

The most substantial letting was to the Dart Group (Jet2) which took 71,000 sq ft at The Mint making this 115,000 sq ft building almost fully occupied.

Take-up was also boosted by the KPMG pre-let at 1 Sovereign Square (Plot A) of 61,250 sq ft and Shulmans’ pre-commitment to 15,160 sq ft at No.10 Wellington Place; both deals satisfying long running office requirements.

Commenting on the figures, Paul Fairhurst from Savills and spokesperson for LOAF, said: “We saw a solid performance in 2012 with occupier activity slightly up on 2011 levels. In contrast city centre take-up in this first quarter is actually higher than the first six months of last year and we have seen more activity from the professional services sector during this period.

“The pre-lets agreed with KPMG and Shulmans has allowed Leeds City Council/MUSE and MEPC respectively to kick start some much-needed, and widely anticipated, office development in the city core and is a clear sign that confidence is returning to the market.

“Whilst there is now a relative lack of Grade A built stock, the demise of law firm Cobbetts will bring a further 34,000 sq ft of good quality space to the market at No1 Whitehall Riverside.

“However, there are currently a number of larger occupier requirements in the market for built space so the Forum expects this situation to persist for some time.”

The out-of-town market recorded 96,907 sq ft of take-up across 27 deals. This was a 73% increase compared with the same quarter last year (56,000 sq ft).

Whilst last year’s volumes were led by lots of smaller sized lettings; there were seven transactions over 5,000 sq ft in Q1 2013 compared to just three during the same period last year.

The largest deal was the 17,033 sq ft letting at Thorpe Park to Balfour Beatty Group Ltd.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Mark Lane .

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