Confidence growing as take-up of city office space high

Office take-up in Leeds during the second quarter of this year exceeded 213,000 sq ft and was the third highest on record, according to global property consultancy Knight Frank.

Sovereign Square, Leeds

Leeds city centre take-up for the first six months of 2015 was over 300,000 sq ft, a significant improvement on the first six months last year.

Grade A space accounted for 66 per cent of total take-up during this period and there were a total of 43 transactions.

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Eamon Fox, partner and head of office agency at Knight Frank in Leeds, said: “The biggest deals were pre-lets to PwC at Central Square, 49,650 sq ft, and Addleshaw Goddard at 3 Sovereign Square, 51,531 sq ft.

“The second Addleshaw Goddard letting was the largest pre-let in the city in recent years, which demonstrates the level of confidence in the city’s economy.

“Another highlight was Equifax’s acquisition of 19,784 sq ft at 6 Wellington Place, which made this scheme virtually 50 per cent let prior to completion.”

He added that the supply of Grade A space is expected to increase further, with many new developments under construction and expected to complete over the next 12-18 months.

Mr Fox said: “Leeds still lags behind the other regional centres in terms of headline rents, with the current figure standing at £26.00 per sq ft. However, the PwC deal may have been agreed at slightly more than this, which could be an indication that rents are edging up.”

Knight Frank reported that the occupational market remains buoyant, with full-year take-up expected to be circa 600,000 sq ft.

“There is still a healthy level of occupier demand and take-up is on target to exceed 600,000 sq ft for the full year,” said Mr Fox.