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News Release

‘Resilient’ Leeds office market and new benchmark rent set for city centre space

​Leeds, Monday 23 January 2017 - According to figures released today from the Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF), 109,682 sq ft of office take-up was recorded in Leeds city centre in the last quarter of 2016, alongside 28,942 sq ft in the out-of-town market.

The freehold acquisition of 33,686 sq ft at 1 Victoria Place by Medical Protection Society was the largest of the 30 city centre transactions to complete during the period. The 12,755 sq ft letting to BDO at Central Square was the second largest and also set a new benchmark rent for this cycle at £27.50 per sq ft.

Of the 21 deals transacted in the out-of-town market, the letting to SD Taylor at Turnberry Business Park in Morley was the only one above 5,000 sq ft to complete in this quarter.

Total 2016 Leeds city centre take-up stood at 430,000 sq ft, compared with 679,000 sq ft in 2015 which was the second highest year on record. Full year activity in the out-of-town market reached 312,000 sq ft compared with 268,000 sq ft from the previous year.

Richard Thornton from JLL said: “The Leeds office market showed its resilience last year with total 2016 take-up in line with our forecasts and a new headline rent set. Activity was however more subdued in the final three months of the year, as the impact of Brexit made some occupiers more cautious. Equally, a number of larger deals anticipated to complete in Q4 slipped into 2017 and will immediately boost this year’s figures.

“There’s currently around 500,000 sq ft of live office requirements for grade A space in the market, along with public sector requirements and a flurry of upcoming lease events within the city centre will boost take up in 2017.”

What is clear is that occupiers continue to want good quality office space. Schemes such as M&G’s Central Square and MEPC’s Wellington Place were major city centre benefactors last year with deals to the likes of RSM, BDO, Ward Hadaway and Sky Bet.

“The letting to BDO set a new benchmark rent in Q4 and we anticipate prime office rents will continue their steady upward trajectory. This underlines the continued demand for Grade A stock and low levels of new supply.”