Bristol Offices Bounceback

Office take-up in Bristol reached nearly 300,000 sq ft in the first half of 2014, including 180,000 sq ft of deals in Q2. This compares to only 500,000 sq ft let in the whole of 2013 and local agents are tipping 2014’s total could reach 700,000 sq ft. Recent large deals have included PricewaterhouseCoopers at Glass Wharf, HSBC at Redcliff Quay, Tribal Group at Kings Orchard, National Friendly at Queen Square and Mapfre Abraxas at a undisclosed address in Bristol.

Ovo Energy is on the verge of signing for 70,000 sq ft and there are also a number of other circulating requirements including AXA, EDF, Alcatel, TSB and KPMG. Metropolis is monitoring around 25 companies in Bristol that have medium or large searches either active or potential.

There is around 170,000 sq ft of new grade A offices due for completion by early 2015, including 2 Glass Wharf (92,000 sq ft), 66 Queen Square (59,000 sq ft) and Narrow Quay House (26,000 sq ft). There are also plans to revive the 400,000 sq ft Glassfields office scheme in 2015. However, there are already a number of firms positioning themselves with requirements of 20,000 sq ft upwards positioning themselves to take the space due to be completed in the next 9 months.

Secondhand space has proved popular, especially as Grade A space has been in short supply and office availability overall has fallen to a five year low, causing average office rents to rise 10% to nearly £20 psf.

The outlook is for more Bristol deals as the number of requirements chase a dwindling supply of top grade offices, while a considerable number of lease expiries are expected over 2015-16.

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