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Q1 Take-Up Good But Not Brilliant As Manchester Office Market Ponders Brexit

2 New Bailey, Salford

It was good, but maybe not stellar. Good enough. Good for Q1 2019 when Brexit is destabilising the economy, and big decisions that can be shelved are now firmly on shelves.

The Q1 take-up figure for Manchester's busy city-centre office market was 315K SF, a 23% fall compared to the 430K SF recorded in Q1 2018. But if you discount the 157K SF HMRC letting that distorted the early months of 2018, then the city centre perfored well, according to the latest figures from the Manchester Office Agents Forum.

The figure is good enough to allow the Forum to claim that the city centre will score above 1M SF of deals in 2019, the sixth year in succession the figure has been above 1M SF.

The wider Manchester market, including the South Manchester business parks, Salford Quays and Old Trafford, was also slightly down but not seriously. South Manchester scored 139K SF, down from 148K SF in Q1 2018.

Salford Quays and Old Trafford clocked up 54K SF, down on 78K SF in Q1 2018.

Overall the combined Manchester market transacted 508K SF in Q1 2019, compared to 656K SF in Q1 2018.

The largest deal was the 48K SF pre-let at 2 New Bailey to law firm Eversheds Sutherland. The developer is English Cities Fund.

“There remains a good level of unsatisfied requirements which are matched by a healthy pipeline of high quality refurbishments and new build opportunities, and we therefore expect the city centre office market to remain resilient given the backdrop of uncertainty and reach 1M SF-plus for a sixth consecutive year," Lambert Smith Hampton Senior Surveyor Matt Pickersgill said.

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.