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Leeds

Leeds Q2 city centre office activity buoyed by inward investment deal

Leeds Office Agents’ Forum releases quarterly take-up figures


Leeds, 16th July, 2014 - According to office market data compiled by the leading commercial property agents in Leeds, city centre occupier take-up in the second quarter of 2014 (Q2 2014) reached 103,729 sq ft compared with 203,145 sq ft across 23 transactions in the same period last year.

Quarterly take-up figures from the Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF) show 25 city centre office deals completed between April – June 2014 with the largest being a significant inward investment transaction to Sanef. The French motorway operator’s decision to take 24,242 sq ft of space at St John’s Centre is set to create around 300 new jobs for Leeds.

Jeff Pearey from JLL said: “Attracting inward investment plays a crucial role in the economy of any regional city; Sanef’s decision to open a new call centre further cements Leeds as a great place for business.  Currently, there is a decent clutch of occupier requirements circulating and we anticipate some larger pre-lets will conclude in the second half of the year boosting current take-up levels.

“City centre office leasing activity in Q2 was, by and large, in line with the Forum’s expectations and is around the five year average for this period.  2013 was of course a bumper year for Leeds with take-up exceeding both 10 and 15 year average levels and Q2 2013, in particular, was uncharacteristically high; it’s important therefore to keep year-on-year comparisons in perspective.”

Overall office vacancy rates are now at their lowest level since 2006 and well below average levels.  There was however two new construction starts at Central Square and 6 Wellington Place and equally, there are a number of refurbishment completions meaning that the worrying lack of Grade A product should fall away in due course.

The Leeds’ out-of-town office market has remained muted with LOAF forecasting improved transactional activity for the latter part of the year.  There were 17 deals to complete in Q2 2014, equating to 48,018 sq ft, compared with 98,928 sq ft across 18 transactions in the same period last year. The largest deals were the 8,954 sq ft freehold sale of Beacon Lodge, in Morley and the 5,000 sq ft letting of Colton House to Harron Homes Ltd.

At the half year point, Leeds city centre take-up stood at 243,987 sq ft, compared with 438,145 sq ft in H2 2013, and out-of-town had reached 83,282 sq ft (195,835 sq ft at H2 2013).

The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum was established, by the leading property consultancy firms based in Leeds, to collate and distribute definitive market information. Its members are BNP Paribas, Carter Towler, CBRE, Colliers International, DTZ, Eddisons, Fox Lloyd Jones, GVA, JLL, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Ryden, Sanderson Weatherall, Savills and WSB.​