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Millions Of Reasons To Be Happy: Manchester's Record Office Take-Up


The Manchester Office Agents Forum has announced a record year for office take-up in Manchester, with the final figure in the city centre reaching 1.75M SF across 314 transactions.

What a difference a year makes. In January 2018 Manchester office take-up of 1M SF was considered a triumph, proving the market had stabilised at  seven figures. But 2019 has exceeded even the most optimistic expectations.

The figure of 1.75M SF is well above the 10-year average and surpasses the previous record of 1.3M SF set in 2014.

The final quarter of 218 saw 513K SF transacted including Amazon leasing 89K SF, WeWork taking another 76K SF and Manchester City Council moving to 33K SF at City Road. 

“The performance of the market in 2018 clearly demonstrates that despite the backdrop of political uncertainty, Manchester is going from strength to strength," Avison Young Associate Director and Manchester Office Agents Forum spokesman Harry Skinner said. "The improved transport infrastructure, significant leisure offering and vast University talent pool are all factors pulling occupiers towards Manchester over other regional cities. Proactive landlords and developers who have been willing to invest in buildings to provide a quality product have achieved success.” 

MOAF forecast a good start to 2019, with several large requirements due to complete in the first half of the year. There is an improved supply of new Grade A space coming through to satisfy upcoming demand at 125 Deansgate, Landmark and Number 8 First Street, due for completion this year.

The city fringe markets of Salford Quays and Old Trafford also performed strongly with 92 transactions totalling a combined 346K SF, a 22% increase on 2017.

South Manchester’s out-of-town market transacted 790K SF in 259 deals, a record figure.

Manchester’s success contrasts strongly with a thin year in central Birmingham’s office markets.

Birmingham's office market ended 2018 with take-up down more than 25% on the total deals recorded in 2017.

Figures from the Birmingham Office Market Forum show final-quarter take-up of 278K SF, bringing the 2018 total to 754K SF.

This compares with 1M SF recorded in 2017. However, the 2018 outcome just exceeds the 10-year average take-up in central Birmingham and demonstrates a strong finish to the year after a steady start, the Birmingham Office Market Forum said. Comfort will be drawn from the fact that 2018 was slightly better than both 2016 (629K SF) and 2014 (713K SF).