May, 2012
Property News

Mixed fortune for office markets

by Julia Ford

Office space take-up in two key Yorkshire markets witnessed differing fortunes in the first quarter of 2012, according to new research.

Take-up in Leeds was 210,868 sq ft compared to 89,440 sq ft over the same period the previous year.

In Sheffield, take-up decreased by 9% from 68,104 sq ft to 62,253 sq ft.

Adam Varley, head of office agency for LSH in Leeds, said: “The continued take up of space combined with the lack of any development within Leeds city centre is going to present occupiers looking for grade A space, in prime locations, with a serious shortage of available options. 

“Currently there is only 160,000 sq ft of grade A space available within the central business district and only 485,000 sq ft of total grade A space within the City Centre. Therefore, unless there is an influx of new stock to the market the city is very quickly going to run out of grade A stock.

“Is it therefore time to build?  The answer is probably yes, however with the general lack of confidence in the development market and more crucially the lack of available finance, the likelihood is that unless potential developers are able to secure significant pre-lets the return to any speculative development isn’t going to happen in the city.”

In Sheffield where there is currently no grade A space available in the city centre, occupiers are being forced to consider either ring road locations or grade B stock in the preferred locations, LSH said.

Rob Darrington, surveyor at LSH in Sheffield, said: “The figures for Q1 2012 are much more in line with what we would expect for the first quarter of the year compared to an exceptionally high demand in Sheffield during the same period last year.

“The very slight decrease in take up is purely a reflection of general economic trends.”

Read the full article here
Source: The Business Desk