Broker leads take-up of city office space

A number of long standing requirements boosted office take up in the first three months of the year, according to new figures.

Willis Towers Watson completed a deal for 25,968 sq ft of office space at 5 Wellington Place in Leeds earlier this year.

Research from the Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF) show that office take-up in the city during the first quarter of 2017 reached 104,936 sq ft compared with 109,682 sq ft in the final quarter of 2016.

In all, 22 city centre deals completed between January to March this year boosted by the conclusion of two major office requirements. The largest city centre deal was the letting to Willis Towers Watson who signed for 25,968 sq ft at 5 Wellington Place.

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BW Legal’s acquisition of 1 Apex View was the only other deal over 20,000 sq ft to be recorded during the period.

Steven Jones, from Eddisons and spokesperson for the LOAF, said: “Leeds as a city has shown itself to be good shape and is currently enjoying a relative position of strength as occupiers adapt to the uncertainty around Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

“Given the focus on high quality city centre buildings we are seeing a trend for businesses to ‘trade-up’ their space to even better quality or for more characterful offices. As a result, we expect new prime city centre office rents to move on from £27.50 per sq ft as the year progresses.”

According to the forum, the Leeds out-of-town office market saw a similar number of deals completed compared to the previous quarter. There was 55,743 sq ft of office space taken up across 20 deals compared with 28,942 sq ft over 21 deals at the end of 2016.

The deals were led by the 10,200 sq ft letting to Bellway Homes at 2150 Century Way, Thorpe Park. The freehold acquisition by Clayton Holmes Naisbitt of 1 John Charles Way, comprising 9,500 sq ft, was another significant transaction.”