Newcastle Office Market

A recent 2017 report by Knight Frank, revealed that Newcastle city centre take-up fell by 15% during 2016 reaching 220,000 sq ft.

Business Services accounted for the largest proportion of city centre take-up in 2016 at 22%. There was also a continued increase in activity in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) sector.

Out of town, total take-up reached 492,000 sq ft, with the North East has attracted an increasing number of ‘footloose’ occupiers in recent years.

Key transactions included a 35,000 sq ft letting to Convergys at The Rocket in the Stephenson Quarter. The most significant deal in the TMT sector was Zerolight’s new lease of the entire LiveWorks development on Newcastle Quayside (15,000 sq ft) only months after the building completed.

Metropolis is monitoring around 20 companies with identified or possible office searches in Newcastle.

Figures from local agent Naylors show 177,041 sq ft of out of town office space in Newcastle was let in Q1 of 2017. In contrast, only 33,461 sq ft of city centre office space was let in the same period. In Q1 2017, Frank Recruitment let 19,000 sq ft at the St Nicholas Building, while Sir Robert McAlpine is taking 8,000 sq ft in the same building.

Out of town, Quorum Business Park secured the largest letting with Sitel taking 47,000 sq ft. Other significant deals included Leeds Building Society moving their regional HQ from Silverlink to Cobalt Business Park and Parseq acquiring 20,000 sq ft at Camberwell House, Doxford Business Park.

The office market in Newcastle remains relatively quiet, with the majority of companies approaching lease events in 2017, choosing to renew current arrangements rather than search for alternative space. Future market growth is likely to mainly come from companies outside the region inward investing and expansions.

Corporate Fit-Out Winners 2012-2016









London Top 10’s

The Corporate Fit Out Winners 2012-2016

Metropolis Property Research has just released its latest report for the period 2012-2016 on the central London office fit-out market.

The report provides Top 10 Rankings for those firms involved in ‘CAT B’ projects for corporate occupiers taking new space for interior design, project management, fit-out ‘build’, and agents advising tenants.


The No 1 TOP 10 firms are:

No 1 Interior Architect  – TP Bennett

TP Bennett has been ranked as London’s No 1 interior architect with 4.7m sq ft of interior design projects for corporate occupiers taking new space 2012-2016.  This is 29% market share amongst the named TOP 10 firms.


No 1 Fit Out Contractor – ISG

ISG has been ranked as London’s No 1 fit out contractor with 5.0m sq ft of fit-out projects for corporate occupiers taking new space in 2012-2016.  This is 33% market share amongst the named TOP 10 firms.


No 1 Interior Project Manager – CBRE

CBRE has been ranked as London’s No 1 project manager on interior fit out projects with 3.5m sq ft of projects for corporate occupiers taking new space 2012-2016.  This is 24% market share amongst the named TOP 10 firms.


No 1 Tenants Agent – CBRE

CBRE has been ranked as London’s No 1 tenant agent with 6.2m sq ft of occupier deals done on new office space 2012-2016.  This is 30% market share amongst the named TOP 10 firms.



Editorial Notes

In the five-years covered by the research (2012-2016) a total of 57.3m sq ft of new office space has been let in central London. The report has looked at deals of 2,322 sq m (25,000 sq ft) and over – which are the focus of the analysis – and amount to 30.3m sq ft of office space fitted out in 433 projects.

The report ‘London Top 10’s – The Corporate Fit Out Winners 2012-2016’ is available from Metropolis Property Research.   For details please contact


About Metropolis Property Research Ltd

Metropolis Property Research is an independent research and information company established in 1998.   The company carries out research into the London and UK office markets and corporate relocation leads.

Metropolis Website and Blog –


Copyright Metropolis Property Research Ltd 2017

November 2016 Central London Lettings

Central London office lettings in November 2016 recorded nearly 1,050,000 sq ft of deals from 45 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The November figure represents a rise of 17% from the 900,000 sq ft total in October and a rise in the number of office deals over the month.

November was characterised by 10 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Freshfield’s 300,000 sq ft pre-let at 100 Bishopsgate, EC2; Fidelity took 105,000 sq ft at 4 Cannon Street, EC4 and WeWork took 72,000 sq ft at The South Bank Tower, SE1.

Professional services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Freshfields deal, along with big lettings to Olswang and Nabarro, followed by the financial sector, boosted by deals to Fidelity and EQT. Business services also performed well helped by more lettings to WeWork. Office deals under offer in central London fell slightlt to 2.5m sq ft after deals in the City and one in Southbank.

By area, the City accounted for only 78pc of the office floorspace let in November – a big increase on the 18pc in October. The West End saw 70,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 20,000 sq ft of transactions, but Southbank again performed well with 70,000. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 4m sq ft in the City and 3m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached a remarkable 800,000 sq ft (76% of the total), as transactions for new space kept momentum.

Take-up in central London for January to November 2016 has so far reached 9.4m sq ft with December to come. With two or three large lettings pencilled in the yearly total could touch 11m sq ft.

Cityoffices wishes all its readers a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

South Coast steady

JLL has just published its Q3 2016 report on the ‘South Coast Metropole’, covering Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth. The headlines are that prime building office rents reached £21.50 per sq ft; there has been a 6% increase in take up from this time last year and there is a shortage of new office schemes coming through the pipeline. The market has generally stabilised after the initial shock of the Brexit vote.

In Q1 – Q3 2016 there has been a 16% increase in take-up compared to the same period last year. Take-up has risen from from 337,366 sq ft in 2013 to 419,160 sq ft in 2014 and to over 500,000 sq ft in 2015. The largest letting over the last year was Utilita Energy which took circa 52,000 sq ft at Hutwood Court, Chandler’s Ford. More recently Just Develop IT  took 25,000 sq ft at Segensworth; Peach Telecom took 14,000 sq ft at Fareham and One Insurance took 12,500 sq ft at Chandlers Ford.

The south coast remains a popular location for businesses in the defence, technology and financial sectors. JLL point to a trend for larger occupiers moving to out-of-town locations due to lack of suitable new schemes in city centres.

Metropolis is tracking over a dozen companies looking for over 10,000 sq ft of offices in Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth.

The occupational market in the region is being been driven by lease events with companies consolidating into single buildings or relocating to take advantage of newly refurbished, better quality accommodation, often from cellular offices into more modern open plan space.

Speculative office development has been quiet with the exception of one building at Southampton Science Park and in Bournemouth, One Vision is currently under construction as part of a mixed use scheme where offices will be provided up to 83,300 sq ft by 2018. Development sites at Royal Pier Waterfront in Southampton, Lakeside Northarbour in Portsmouth and Chilcomb Centre in Winchester may as a result, see new offices built, as supply continues its steady decline.

Edinburgh prospering

A recent report on the Edinburgh office market by property adviser Knight Frank, concluded that around 120,000 sq ft of offices were let in Q3 2016. The July-September 2016 total was slightly down on the first two quarters of the year, but broadly in line with the same period in 2015 (148,000 sq ft).

Technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) sector companies were the mainstay in the market, accounting for 49,000 sq ft of the Edinburgh-wide take-up – 41% of the total.

Agreed deals included moves by People’s Postcode Lottery, State Street Bank, Intergen, Cirrus Logic and Zonal Retail Data.

The agents said that appetite for Grade A space (newly completed or refurbished) also “remained voracious in the city centre, with 176,000 sq ft  let in the year to date”. Knight Frank say that Edinburgh could outperform the 220,000 sq ft 10-year average for annual city centre, Grade A office take-up, by the end of 2016.

Metropolis is currently tracking some 35 searches for Edinburgh office space 2016-18.  Current large requirements include Ernst and Young (under offer at Atria), Brodies (60,000 sq ft) and Aberdeen Asset Management (80,000 sq ft).

Agents say: “There is a good level of requirements in the market, particularly for sub-5,000 sq ft accommodation. The level of demand should give developers the confidence to start building. Many will be holding out for pre-let opportunities and, although there have been few in the last decade, we’d expect to see more announced towards the end of 2016.”

Speculative schemes include work nearly completed at Quartermile 3, some delay at the Haymarket scheme, construction planned at One Lochrin Square and a start on Chris Stewart Group’s ‘the Mint’ building, where space is under offer. KF also said that landlords are looking to refurbish their existing stock.


M4 Corridor take-up rising

Recent research by Savills reveals an active M4 corridor office market and in particular the Maidenhead area.

Maidenhead office take-up is 22% ahead of the same period in 2015 underlining strong office demand. For the year to date there has been over 68,000 sq ft of office deals transacted in Maidenhead with a further 19,000 sq ft under offer.

Above average demand has led to new record office rents being achieved in Maidenhead town centre. Blackberry and McAllister Olivarius recently both paid a rent of £37.50 per sq ft at the Pearce Building, taking 16,000 sq ft and 5,000 sq ft respectively.

Agents say that most occupiers are looking at grade A (new or recently refurbished space). Over the last five years the grade A take-up proportion has been 80%.

Major movers this year include Alnylam taking 21,000 sq ft at Braywick Gate and Informatica leasing 18,000 sq ft at Building 4, Foundation Park. Rank are also in talks to take 40,000 sq ft at Blackrock’s Tor in the town centre.

Metropolis is monitoring around 50 requirements and potential requirements in the M4 corridor from Slough to Reading including Maidenhead.

There is currently 77,000 sq ft under construction in two buildings in Maidenhead. Clearbell Capital is refurbishing 55,000 sq ft of offices at Voyager Place and Mavern Capital is refurbishing 22,000 sq ft at Aurora, Vanwall Business Park.

Brexit Vote – where next?

Its not difficult to find the negatives in the wake of the EU referendum vote.

For example: financial firms occupying large offices in the UK are key drivers of the UK office market. Analysts calculate that around 10 million sq ft of floorspace occupied by the finance sector in Central London is approaching either a lease break or a lease expiry before 2021 – over 20% of the financial services occupiers in London. A significant proportion of those occupiers could make partial or wholesale moves out of the UK – particularly those with significant Eurozone business.

However, there are some positives that should be borne in mind: “the UK is competitive, innovative and highly-skilled economy and an attractive place for business”. (David Sproul, at Deloitte).

“For property markets, the initial correction may be most severe but should be followed by an upturn as opportunities re-emerge in UK core markets and benefits of weak sterling are recognised.” (Chris Ireland, JLL)

“We should not lose sight of the fact that the UK is an incredibly resilient and adaptable economy and it is difficult to see how the City of London will not continue to remain as one of the leading financial centres of the world. The UK is also a major focal point for the technology industry and companies exposed to this sector are much less likely to be affected by the implications of Brexit.” (Rob Thompson Irwin Mitchell).

Office rents could fall, which would enable some tenants to move to better offices, which wouldn’t have been possible at higher levels. (Metropolis).

The highly active technology and media sectors are less affected by the EU referendum result than financial services (Metropolis)

In general, it is to be hoped that after an initial period of uncertainty, that occupiers begin to gain confidence that business will resume and normal relocation and refurbishment decisions can be resurrected. The starting position is one in which Metropolis is tracking over 800 occupiers which have ‘identified requirements’ for office space in 2016 and 2017, so even a softening of demand in the short term, will still leave a lot of business to be won over the next 12 months.