Image Source: Mark Stevenson
Nick Hill

Leeds ranks as 13th most attractive European city for occupiers, claims new report

According Colliers International’s latest Cities of Influence report, Leeds has been ranked 13th out of 50 cities analysed across Europe in terms of their attractiveness to occupiers.

The report, which was released at MIPIM this week, highlighted that key socio-economic factors in which Leeds impressed included boasting a strong talent pool mainly because of the future talent base offered by its top tier universities, workforce catchment area, employer costs and future employment capacity.

The analysis by Colliers showed current prime central business district (CBD) headline rents in Leeds at £30 per sq ft per year with an average CBD headline rent of £21 per sq ft per year and prime CBD yield currently 5.5%.

Roddy Morrison, director of Colliers International’s National Offices, said: “Leeds features strongly in the latest Cities of Influence rankings in 13th place, despite competition from 50 European cities.

“The sizeable existing economy, workforce catchment and strong orientation towards financial and business services are key factors in the success of the city.

“We expect the city to continue on its growth path as part of the Northern Powerhouse collective, driving higher level of real estate investment into the area.”

The Cities of Influence report reviews and ranks cities based on their occupier attractiveness, availability of talent, and quality of life factors, alongside economic output and productivity.

London was ranked as the most attractive city in Europe for a second year running, with Paris, Madrid, Moscow and Birmingham making up the rest of the top five.

Peter Leyburn, EMEA director of client services at Colliers International, added: “Office occupier strength is the engine room for a city economy and as a driver of all other forms of real estate demand: be it retail (and thus logistics), hotels, leisure and residential.

“Occupational strength will also help drive rental growth and longer-term this is the most important driver of capital value – especially in an environment where yields do not look capable of compressing any further in the vast majority of markets. So this analysis should be a good marker for where investment capital should go.”

Richard Divall, head of cross border capital markets at Colliers International, concluded: “Urban transformations and new infrastructure are also very strong drivers of investment growth.

“Given we are now approaching the peak of the investment cycle in terms of pricing, and thus volumes, the logical evolution of the cycle is to see a redistribution of capital into cities, illustrating a strong basis for occupier growth alongside those with new key infrastructure changes.”

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