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Storming South Manchester Office Market Outperforms Birmingham

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Office take-up in the South Manchester market is now easily outpacing that in the whole of Birmingham.

The turbo-charged business park market of Manchester's southern fringe scored office deals of  683K SF in the first three quarters of 2018. This is up from 478K SF in the same period in 2017, and beats the total for the whole of 2017, which was 641K SF.

More surprisingly, it is also comfortably better than the office market in the entire city of Birmingham, which recorded year-to-date take-up of 477K SF.

South Manchester figures were boosted by a single large letting of close to 140K SF to Royal London at Alderley Park, but the underlying trend is still strong.

"If you look at the largest letting Q1-Q3 in 2017 it was 33K SF. If you strip out Royal London then next largest transaction in 2018 is 36K SF," Canning O'Neill Director and Manchester Office Agents Forum spokesman John Nash said.

"However, the volume of deals does demonstrate that the regional areas are proving consistently popular.The airport remains a superb draw and the investment at Alderley Park will benefit the region for decades to come.

"Could we expect more speculative buildings to follow Muse's speculative plans in Stockport and MAG Property's 184K SF proposal for Airport City? The tide is certainly turning so it wouldn't be a huge surprise but I doubt it will be something which could be described as a flurry."

In the wider market including South Manchester, Central Manchester and the western Salford Quays/Trafford district, MOAF data suggested office take-up in Manchester this year could reach 1.5M SF for the first time on record.

Take up in Q3 alone reached 480K SF and included the pre-letting of 222K SF at St John's Goods Yard to, the largest single letting since 2010.

“With take-up so far now standing at 1.25M SF we have already exceeded 2017’s total and we could break 1.5M SF for the first time on record," Knight Frank partner Mark Bamber said.

“This reflects the strength in depth and sheer range of Manchester occupiers and in particular the continued burgeoning demand from tech occupiers drawn to Manchester with its excellent talent pool and leisure facilities.

“This demand is underpinned by the growth in the residential sector which makes Manchester one of the most affordable and liveable cities in Europe — a key factor for attracting and retaining staff.”

The third of the city's major submarkets, Salford Quays and Trafford, recorded year-to-date take-up of 270K SF and is on course to beat take-up in 2017.

MOAF members include Avison Young, BE Group, CBRE, Colliers International, Canning O’Neill, Cushman & Wakefield, Edwards & Co., GVA, Hallams Property Consultants, JLL, Knight Frank, LSH, Matthews & Goodman, OBI Property, Savills, Sixteen Real Estate and TSG Property Consultants.