Major rise in office take-up
THE BUSINESS DESK
19 April 2012
By Ian Briggs - Editor, Yorkshire
OFFICE take-up in a leading Yorkshire market has risen by 300% year-on-year, new research has found.
Latest quarterly take-up findings from The Leeds Agents' Forum found an improvement in activity in the city compared with the same period last year.
Total take-up of office space in Leeds city centre in the first quarter of this year reached 155,847 sq ft, a 300% increase on the same quarter last year when take-up reached 37,000 sq ft.
Whilst the number of city centre transactions dropped to a 12 month low of 19 the average deal size increased with eight recorded in the plus 5,000 sq ft bracket.
Set against the five year average of 415,000 sq ft, the total city centre take-up in the first quarter equates to 37% of the average annual volumes.
Richard Thornton, office agency director in Jones Lang LaSalle's Leeds office, said: "Following on from the positive end to 2011, which saw a 30.5% year-on-year increase, we have seen a dramatic uptake in city centre take-up in the first three months of 2012.
"Last year's increase in volumes was led by lots of smaller sized lettings; in comparison Q1 2012 activity was dominated, albeit by a smaller number, of larger sized deals pointing to improving sentiment amongst the bigger occupiers.
"Looking ahead, whilst there are signs that some of the larger occupiers are once again making decisions, there remains a degree of caution in the market. A decent level of churn is still anticipated to drive the market coupled with the strong possibility of some large pre-letting activity."
The Forum found the Leeds out-of-town market saw less activity in the first quarter, following a strong previous quarter, recording take-up volumes of 56,000 sq ft over 21 deals.
The Leeds Agents' Forum was established to collate and distribute definitive office market information.
Its members include BNP Paribas, Carter Towler, CBRE, Colliers International, DTZ, GVA, Jones Lang LaSalle, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Ryden, Sanderson Weatherall, Savills and WSB.