Sanef boosts Leeds’ Q2 office take-up while Sheffield market is ‘back on track’

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TAKE-UP of office space in Leeds city centre fell by almost half in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the same period last year, according to new figures.

Quarterly take-up figures from the Leeds Office Agents’ Forum show city centre occupier take-up reached 103,729 sq ft compared with 203,145 sq ft in the same period last year.

There were 25 city centre office deals completed between April and June 2014 with the largest to Sanef. The French motorway operator’s decision to open a 24,242 sq ft call centre at St John’s Centre is due to create around 300 new jobs.

Robin Beagley, partner from WSB, said: “Sanef’s decision to open a new call centre further cements Leeds as a great place for business. Currently, there is a decent clutch of occupier requirements circulating and we anticipate some larger pre-lets will conclude in the second half of the year boosting current take-up levels.”

He added: “2013 was of course 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.”

Leeds’ out-of-town office market has remained muted. There were 17 deals to complete in Q2 2014, equating to 48,018 sq ft, compared with 98,928 sq ft across 18 transactions in the same period last year.

At the half year point, Leeds city centre take-up stood at 243,987 sq ft, compared to 438,145 sq ft in H2 2013, and out-of-town reached 83,282 sq ft (195,835 sq ft at H2 2013).

Meanwhile, the Sheffield office market is now back on track after a disappointing start to 2014, according to property firm CPP. Office take-up increased to 110,372 sq ft in Q2, compared to 30,299 sq ft in Q1. The half yearly total now stands at 140,671 sq ft, in line with the long-term average of 286,000 sq ft for a full year.