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Leeds

Leeds city centre office take-up reaches highest level for last four years

Leeds Office Agents’ Forum releases 2012 data


Leeds, 22 January 2013 - The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum has released its quarterly office market figures which show 2012 occupier take-up in Leeds city centre totalled 405,951 sq ft, the largest leasing volume for four years. By comparison office take-up in Leeds city centre during 2011 totalled 398,159 sq ft.

According to the Forum, office activity in Leeds’ out-of-town market also significantly improved in 2012 with a total of 340,374 sq ft transacted over the year; a 21% increase compared with 2011 (280,754 sq ft).
 
Specifically, in Quarter 4 (Q4 2012) city centre volumes totalled 70,361 sq ft across 23 deals. Although the number of transactions was broadly similar, take-up was however a 42% decrease on the previous quarter.  Notable deals included the letting of 9,839 sq ft at 55 St Paul’s Street to DLA Design Group, who relocated its headquarters to Leeds, and Elmwood Design taking 9,473 sq ft. at the Round Foundry.
 
Overall, 66,370 sq ft of offices transacted in the out-of-town market in the last three months of 2012; an 11% increase compared with the previous quarter.  Of the 26 deals to complete, the largest transaction was the freehold sale of 9,000 sq ft at West Park.
 
Richard Dunn, Partner at Sanderson Weatherall and spokesman for the Leeds Office Agents’ Forum, said: “Leasing volumes remained steady in Q4 but, on the whole, the total annual figures show that the office market has remained robust especially given the economic outlook.  The bounce back in city centre take-up, which reached the highest level seen for the last four years, is particularly encouraging and shows that, whilst there is a degree of occupier caution, we are seeing improving sentiment.
 
“Like other regional markets, occupier activity in the office sector continues to be driven by smaller transactions and in the Leeds market there were no deals over 10,000 sq ft recorded in the final quarter of 2012. However, looking ahead, we anticipate there will be an increase in larger sized deals to complete in in the first three months of this year which will help to get 2013 off to a strong start.”
 
Richard concluded: “With a diminishing grade A stock in the prime core and a raft of structural lease events on the horizon we are confident that a return to a pre-let office market remains imminent as occupiers take the opportunity to secure modern, efficient accommodation.”
 

The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum was established to collate and distribute definitive market information. Its members include BNP Paribas, Carter Towler, CBRE, Colliers International, DTZ, GVA, Jones Lang LaSalle, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Ryden, Sanderson Weatherall, Savills and WSB.