The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum (LOAF) has released its quarterly office take-up figures for the Leeds office market which, for the first three months of 2014, show a positive start to the year.
Activity in Leeds city centre for the first quarter (Q1 2014) reached 140,778 sq ft across 41 deals. Whilst this is a 40% decrease in take-up compared to the same period last year the Forum points to Q1 2013 being exceptionally high by Leeds’ standards and the start to 2014 signals continuing confidence in the market. The largest office letting in Q1 2014 was University of Law’s relocation from York to 15 – 16 Park Row agreeing to 26,337 sq ft of space.
Richard Dunn, Partner at Sanderson Weatherall, said
2013 set a real precedent as Leeds recorded the best office take-up for over 15 years – levels we are unlikely to repeat at present given relatively constrained stock levels. That said, the completion of 41 city centre transactions in the first three months is extremely healthy, though we are still finding that deals continue to take time to complete.”
Grade A supply continues to become more constrained although the Forum points to the upcoming practical completions at Evan’s Minerva, MEPC’s 10 Wellington Place and later in 2014, Formal Investments’ 21 Queen Street, which will help address this. Other office refurbishments will also add to the supply chain over the year.
Developers are well aware of the supply/demand imbalance and the question on everyone’s lips is when we will see a return of speculative or largely speculative development.
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