Central London Office Lettings – October 2015

Central London office lettings registered a subdued 550,000 sq ft of transactions in October 2015, spread across 36 deals during the month.

October was characterised by 9 deals over 20,000 sq ft, including One Avenue Group at Dawson House, 5 Jewry Street, EC3; Ince & Co at Aldgate Tower, E1; Alexander McQueen at 1 Aylesbury Street, EC1 and N1 and Coller Capital at Park House, W1.

Business services topped the table of lettings by sector, helped by the One Avenue deal, followed by professional boosted by Ince & Co and another law firm. Office deals under offer (including Thomson Reuters) fell slightly to 3.7m sq ft.

By area, the City accounted for a little under half the total space at 35pc of the floorspace let in the month. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 5.8m sq ft in the City and 3.8m sq ft in the West End. Availability rose to 10.9m sq ft, helped by completion of a number of schemes in Q4.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 317,000 sq ft (58% of the total), as transactions for newly developed or refurbished space took a large part of the total.

Metropolis is about to publish a new report on upcoming London office schemes for autumn 2015.

Sheffield occupiers on the move

A recent survey by property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton revealed an above average 93,000 sq ft of Sheffield office lettings in Q3 2015. This figure is 43% up on the Q2 total.

The July to September total was dominated by lettings to two professional services firms; with 13,000 sq ft let to Wake Smith at Velocity in the city centre and 12,000 sq ft to Frogomen at Savile House in Attercliffe. The survey reveals there were 25 deals in the quarter at an average of nearly 4,000 sq ft.

Other recent occupier activity being tracked by Metropolis includes: Sky expanding at Technology Hub at the Electric Works, Sheffield Digital Campus; Arnold Magnetics expansion at Vector 31 Business Park; law firm Slater and Gordon has a local requirement for around 10,000 sq ft of offices and a new 45,000 sq ft headquarters for Westfield Health.

New office schemes due to provide Grade A space in 2016 include the ten storey 76,000 sq ft 3 St Paul’s Place where Arup, the engineering consultant, has signed to take a 16,000 sq ft pre-let of offices on the top floors. Construction is due to commence on Scarborough Group’s next phase of Digital Campus, providing a further 128,375 sq ft of offices , along with the 65,000 sq ft redevelopment of 65,000 sq ft at Steel City House.

Cityoffices – An October Taster

Below is the October 2015 taster for http://www.Cityoffices.net – the sister leads provider to the market leading Metropolis Property Research.

With the office construction sector booming in London (the just published Deloitte/Cityoffices Crane Survey reveals an 18% construction rise since spring 2015) there is a huge volume of tenders being sought and awarded as every role from architects, planners and engineers to service consultants, letting agents and acoustic consultants are being appointed on a daily basis.

Looking back over October 2015 this Cityoffices bulletin just looks at recent news of some of the schemes (there are 120 schemes at either construction or demolition stage in London, with over 200 planning consents in the pipeline) which have progressed in the last month and some of the schemes which developers are likely to progress in the next 2-3 years. The London news stories and many regional updates in October, are backed up with full project details, including teams where appointed, on the database and included:

In London

  • New application on a 200,000 sq ft City of London building;
  • A Midtown building bought with potential to combine with an adjacent building to form a 50,000 sq ft scheme;
  • A demolition start to make way for a new City of London office tower;
  • A bank submits an application for a 20,000 sq ft refurbishment in EC2;
  • Consent for a new 375,000 sq ft office scheme in the Aldgate area;
  • News of the latest major pre-lets on office schemes in central London.

Outside London

  • Construction start on a central Birmingham scheme;
  • Developer buys a site in Bristol to house its next speculative scheme;
  • A summary of the Cardiff office scheme pipeline;
  • Some new office refurbishments in Glasgow;
  • A new 61,000 sq ft office scheme consent in Edinburgh;
  • Contractor appointed on a 167,000 sq ft Leeds office scheme;
  • A developer acquires a Manchester office block for redevelopment;
  • Consent for a major Newcastle mixed-use scheme.

These are just a sample of the many office projects that Cityoffices reports on each month and backed up with full histories and contact names and numbers where available. No other information provider can match a fraction of Cityoffices’ coverage.

If you would like to know more about annual Cityoffices subscriptions from only £750 – email Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk

Bristol Office Market Looks Forward

A recent report on the Bristol office market by Lambert Smith Hampton suggests that although letting activity slowed in Q3 2015, there is some optimism for 2016, as the number of new requirements rises sharply.

During Q3 2015, some 195,000 sq ft of lettings were concluded in Bristol including moves by Civica, Northgate, EE, Meanwhile Creative , Optical Express and TMP. Total office take-up for the year is nearly 600,000 sq ft, but this is down on the 770,000 sq ft over the same period in 2014. Recent office take-up in Bristol has been led by Technology Media and Telecom (26%) and Professional Services (24%), followed by Construction & Engineering (14%) and Business Services. There have been a higher than usual proportion of Bristol office deals below 5,000 sq ft in autumn 2015.

Amongst the companies with requirements being tracked and spoken to regularly by Metropolis are AXA, EDF, Foot Anstey and Babcock. LSH point to 40 new inquiries in the last 3 months. Local agents are tipping the media sector as likely to be a good performer in 2016 and we have recently seen Green.TV and Mendip Mediai open bases in Bristol. Recently R&D has become a growing business sector within Bristol city centre and occupiers such as ADP and Oracle are expanding their operations.

Some 600,000 sq ft of speculative office schemes could start on site in Bristol in 2016, including refurbishment of Veale Wasbrough Vizards’ former offices at Orchard Court, Orchard Lane, Bristol. Overall office vacancy rates are around 6-7%.

Looking ahead, there are some 200,000 sq ft of large requirements in Bristol which are likely to find offices over the next 12 months, with a tier of medium sized searches which could double that total.