Manchester Office Market Update

Recent research by Metropolis saw nearly 40 office Manchester moves confirmed in the first quarter of 2019, which is 10% above the same period last year. Furthermore, there are over 100 companies either searching or due to make decisions on future office space searches in 2019.

Local office agents expect take-up in the city centre market to top 1m sq ft for the sixth year running following a steady start to 2019. The first quarter of the year saw 314,733 sq ft of lettings according to the figures from the Manchester Office Agents Forum. The largest transaction so far this year is the long-awaited 47,465 sq ft pre-let at Two New Bailey to law firm Eversheds Sutherland.

Other large deals included co-working operator Huckletree taking 25,800 sq ft at the Express Building, the General Medical Council taking 22,000 sq ft at 3 Hardman Square and Knights Professional Services taking 16,272 sq ft at Two St Peter’s Square. Moneysupermarket.com took space at No. 1 Spinningfields at £35 per sq ft, a new record rent for the city.

The headline requirement is to BT, which it has recently increased its search to 150,000 sq ft. The out-of-town market saw lettings to two utilities companies Smart DCC and Landis & Gyr. There were also a number of deals to tech companies such as Capgemini, Playdemic and Cetus Solutions.

Analysis by Savills points to a diverse base of office occupiers, who are attracted to the city as a result of its strong talent pool, establishing it further as a key location outside of London.

Savills research points to a Manchester’s office market with record 2018 take-up levels of 1,750,276 sq ft, representing a 44 per cent year-on-year increase. It was also the fifth consecutive year that Manchester saw city centre take-up in excess of 1.2 million sq ft.

Recent office mover activity has been dominated by TMT, professional, financial services and public sector markets as well as co-working providers.

Manchester has seen an influx of flexible and serviced office providers looking to establish a presence outside of London including WeWork, Work Life and Central Working taking space as well as smaller independent providers.

Looking ahead, Metropolis has plans to speak to a further Manchester office occupiers that are approaching lease expiries on their office space over the next two years.

Paul Ives, Metropolis

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