Good year for Sheffield

A recent report by property consultant Knight Frank has revealed office take-up of 270,000 sq ft in Sheffield in 2014, compared to 235,000 sq ft in 2013.

The report highlights recent deals such as health technology company Servelec taking 20,700 sq ft at The Straddle building, Westfield Health taking 40,000 sq ft at Milton House and the establishment of a European HQ and contact centre for health assessments by Instant offices into 11,000 sq ft at Northbank.

In addition, it features PwC’s relocation into 7,000 sq ft at No. 1 St Paul’s Place; XLN Communications’ move into 14,500 sq ft at Northbank and Places for People into 7,000 sq ft on the top floor of Saville House.

Metropolis reported on 25 Sheffield moves in 2014 and is tracking 12 companies looking for office space in the city and Rotherham in 2015. Many of the deals involve offices below 5,000 sq ft. Telecom, recruitment, medical and charity sectors are currently the most active. Local agents estimate that there is currently demand for about 225,000 sq ft of offices in the city.

The construction of the St Paul’s scheme remains the only major pipeline development in Sheffield due to complete in spring 2015 which will add 73,600 sq ft of grade A office stock to the City’s supply and is likely to attract some high profile moves.


Top Ten London Business Sectors








For the sixth year running, Banking and finance leads dominate the London business sector top ten. The largest search for space emerging from this sector in 2014 was a 300,000 sq ft requirement for HQ offices in London EC3, closely followed by a 200,000 sq ft office requirement in London EC2 and a similar sized requirement from a bank looking in EC4. Total new office demand in London from this sector was 4m sq ft.

Office demand from hedge funds amounted to just under 250,000 sq ft, with the average requirement a search for about 10,000 sq ft and the most popular postcodes London W1, SW1 and WC2. Demand from financial investment firms was 800,000 sq ft, with the most popular postcodes London EC2, EC3 and EC4.

Newly identified office demand from the media sector in London was about 2.5m sq ft. The largest search was a 300,000 sq ft requirement for HQ space in London W6. Other significant searches focused on London EC1 and SE1. The technology and telecoms sector, often grouped with Media under the banner “TMT”, had a similar preference for space in these postcodes, with space in WC1 and N1 also of considerable interest. Technology and telecoms demand for London offices was just over 1.5m sq ft.








London office demand from the law sector remains strong, with 2m sq ft of new requirements identified last year. London EC2 and EC4 remain the most popular postcodes for this sector, although a significant number of 30,000 sq ft searches centered on London WC1 and WC2. There were over 40 confirmed law firm lettings last year, with 50% of firms yet to move.

New insurance sector office demand centered on London EC3, with 700,000 sq ft of space required in this postcode last year, matching 2013 demand. Another 300,000 sq ft was required by this sector, mainly in EC2.

In central London, Metropolis identified just over 14m sq ft of new requirements for offices. The top 5 most sought after postcodes areas by demand were: EC2 (3m sq ft), EC3 (2m sq ft), EC4 (1.6m sq ft), E14 (1.5m sq ft) and W1 (1.4m sq ft).








There is currently a healthy level of competition for good quality completed and pipeline space in central London. We expect 2015 to be another good year for London fit-out, as companies continue to occupy space pre-let in previous years.

According to our research office take up in 2014 reached 12.7m sq ft, up 5% on the 2013 total. Take up in 2015 is also likely to be strong, but may not grow again by quite the same margin. Metropolis is currently tracking just over 12m sq ft of live office requirements in London and is picking up moves, on average, over 18 months before a deal is signed.

Copyright Metropolis Property Research Ltd, January 2015


Metropolis 2014 Lead Research Review

1,000 new office requirements

The Metropolis research team produced a total of 6,154 relocation, construction and refurbishment leads in 2014. Over 26% of these were active UK office space requirements, in line with 2013 and 2012 research results. 1,613 office requirements were confirmed in total, with 1,000 new office requirements uncovered by our research. New office requirements accounted for 22.5m sq ft of UK office demand.

60% of Metropolis leads were projects located in the South of the UK (61% in 2013, 63% in 2012, 61% in 2011, 2010 and 62% in 2009), with 40% of lead projects located in Wales, the Midlands, North, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Greater London projects represented 48% of the 2014 lead total, 3% above the 2013 proportion.


Leads by region







In Greater London, Metropolis identified just over 18m sq ft of new requirements for offices, with over 800 companies looking for new space. Just over 14m sq ft of this demand was for central London space. The top 5 most sought after postcodes areas by demand were: EC2 (3m sq ft), EC3 (2m sq ft), EC4 (1.6m sq ft), E14 (1.5m sq ft) and W1 (1.4m sq ft).

Office relocation and refurbishment activity continues to be strong in the North West of the UK. Metropolis identified 1.2m sq ft of new office demand in the region, 61% of which was demand for Manchester space. The largest requirements emerged from banking and IT companies.

In the South East (excluding London), the largest office relocation and refurbishment projects were located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Demand for new office space in the South East reached 2.4m sq ft and 39% of this demand was for offices in Berkshire.

Leads numbers in Scotland were 28% down on 2013’s record result (120% up on 2012), however the region is still the UK’s 4th most active according to our research. Metropolis identified 800,000 sq ft of new office demand in Scotland as a whole in 2014, 50% of which was centered on Edinburgh.

In Yorkshire and Humberside, just under 700,000 sq ft of new office requirements were identified, with 71 companies looking for new space. Demand for new space in Leeds accounted for just over 500,000 sq ft.

West Midlands lead numbers were largely on par with results over the past three years. Just under 0.5m sq ft of new demand was identified in Birmingham.

In the South West, just under 700,000 sq ft of new office demand was identified. Bristol was the preferred location for large government, education, energy and insurance company moves. Office take-up in Bristol last year reached 1.2m sq ft.

Lead numbers in the North jumped by 22%, the highest number of relocation, refurbishment, and construction projects recorded in that region since 2011. 23% of office demand in the region centered on Newcastle-upon-Tyne.













UK Lead Projects by Size

55% of Metropolis leads in 2014 reported on projects over 10,000 sq ft. 46% of leads were made up of projects between 5,000 sq ft and 30,000 sq ft. 74% of leads covered projects over 5,000 sq ft. The increase in lead projects between 1 and 2,000 sq ft was influenced by a significant number of central London office, residential and hotel redevelopment schemes unseating existing tenants.


leads by project size





Top 10 Business Sectors – UK Relocation and Refurbishment Projects

The Banking & Finance Sector leapt ahead of Technology & Telecoms in 2014 and was the strongest UK business sector in terms of relocation and refurbishment projects. Lead numbers within this sector grew by 7% when compared to 2013, the strongest showing in the last five years. The largest requirements in this sector were unsurprisingly targeted at London space. Four of the top five office requirements were searches by Banks in the City of London. Banks & Financial service companies also had 50,000 sq ft + requirements for office space in Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton and Bristol.


top ten business sectors





Newly identified demand for office space from Technology and Telecoms companies in the UK hit 2.1m sq ft last year. Requirements for space in London accounted for 50% of this figure. The largest searches for offices outside of London targeted Slough, Glasgow, Warrington, Manchester and Oxford. Office demand from media sector companies, often grouped with Technology and Telecoms under the banner “TMT”, reached 1.5m sq ft. London, particularly SW1 and WC2, was the overwhelmingly preferred location for this sector.

The top ten law firm office relocation projects by size were all located in central London, predominantly the City, particularly London EC4 and EC2. However there were two 70,000 sq ft + requirements for space from this sector in Leeds and a 100,000 sq ft requirement in Manchester.

The industry consensus is that London and the south east outpaced the rest of the UK in 2014 as they are further ahead in the cycle, but the predictions are that the regions will begin to pick up in 2015. This is likely to drive an increase in speculative developments and a rise in rents, which will in turn lead to more demand for offices in regional cities. In London, availability will fall again leading to more development and more relocations to fringe central London locations.

Copyright Metropolis Property Research Ltd, January 2015


December 2014 London Take-Up

Central London office lettings in December 2014 reached a strong 1.3m sq ft in 82 medium or large deals, representing a further boost to the monthly average for 2014

December was characterised by larger than average number of deals, including large lettings to Google, NeueHaus and WeWork amongst others.

The computer and IT sector topped the table of lettings by sector, helped by the Google deal. Business services also saw strong performance in December and a feature of central London take-up in 2014 has been the voracious demand from the serviced office sector for space.

By area, the City accounted for half the deals but only 41pc of the floorspace let in the month, while Southbank saw 12 deals totaling 221,000 sq ft including a major deal to ED&F Man.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month grew to 670,000 sq ft as transactions for newly developed or refurbished space took over half the space let in the month.

Metropolis is preparing a major report on current office demand in London based on its extensive database.

Property consultant CBRE estimates that London office take-up in 2014 has outpaced every yearly total since 2006. It confirms that media and IT sectors took 30% of office demand during the year, just ahead of financial services at 25%. It also confirms Cityoffices research that suggests that Southbank is the fastest growing London office district at the moment in terms of new deals being signed.

Cityoffices relaunched

In January 2015 Metropolis’ sister site: has been revamped and relaunched as THE place to learn about office schemes in London and the UK.

Since 1999 Cityoffices has been monitoring, qualifying and recording all significant office developments in London and across the regions. Cityoffices averages over six news stories on London office schemes every week for subscribers, plus other news of developments in the regions.

From the first peep that a development might be in the pipeline, through the design, planning and construction phases, followed by completion to the deals struck by occupiers to occupy it. The site notes all the activity around each and every scheme of note. There are over currently 1000 on the database, of which 300 are future schemes in the pipeline.

Cityoffices record all the participants from developer, to agent, to architect, to the complete construction team.

Cityoffices also track all rumours, hints and realities of the development letting process. For example if a building is purchased with a view to refurbishment or redevelopment you’ll hear about it on Cityoffices. Cityoffices also gives a monthly commentary on London office take-up with trends and demand statistics.

If you want to track the development history of any office building constructed in the last 16 years in London, then Cityoffices is the place. If you want to see what may be built in the next three years and the companies involved (many with contact names) in each scheme Cityoffices is the place. If you want to be informed about the latest news on office schemes, Cityoffices is the place.

In short, CityOffices gives you the complete low down on the market and allows you to be an informed player.

Subscriptions begin at a very reasonable £600 per annum. Email for more details.