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MOAF: Manchester office take-up reaches 390,470 sq ft H1 2023

Q2 2023 take-up saw 179,073 sq ft of workspace transacted across 52 transactions in Manchester city centre, taking the half year figures to 390,470 sq ft across 111 transactions, according to Manchester Office Agents Forum.

Stand out deals from the quarter includes Arup’s 15,218 sq ft expansion at 3 Piccadilly Place and a 15,436 sq ft transaction at Bonded Warehouse where Dentsu acquired a fully fitted and furnished workspace.

Richard Lace, Director at OBI commented “Despite a challenging macroeconomic backdrop, Manchester continues to be one of the best performing regional UK cities in terms of commercial workspace transacted.”

“Manchester is not over reliant on any one sector, and whilst we have seen more muted levels of demand from the tech sector, due to high interest rates and rising inflation, businesses from the legal and professional & financial services sectors remains relatively strong. Though the recording of Hill Dickinson and Pinsent Masons commitment to St Michael’s will fall in to the second half of the year, it does illustrate that headline rents within the city centre remain resilient and continue to rise for best-in-class, ESG focused, prime Grade A buildings.”

“The outlook for the city remains positive, with significant size requirements in the market from both existing Manchester business but also new entrants seeking to establish a presence in the city.”

Outside of the city centre, the Salford Quays and Old Trafford office market saw encouraging levels of take up with 78,747 sq ft of transactions recorded representing a 17.5% increase on Q1 2023. This took annual take up for the year to 145,786 sq ft over 43 deals for H1, an increase on the corresponding H1 period in 2022 which transacted 134,484 sq ft. Notable deals in the quarter included RAC Motoring Services who took 22,750 sq ft at The Vic.

South Manchester’s office market also saw promising levels of take up with 146,806 sq ft transacted over 142 deals in Q2, outperforming the 5 year rolling quarterly average of 129,105 sq ft. This took overall take up for H1 2023 to 281,862 sq ft which represents a significant increase on the corresponding H1 period in 2022 which recorded 153,645 sq ft. Notable deals from Q2 2023 included Seda Pharma Developments who took 37,130 sq ft at The Lakehouse, Cheadle.

Mark Garner, Associate Director at CBRE commented “The latest office take up figures for South Manchester, Salford Quays and Old Trafford are extremely encouraging and clearly show the continued appeal these regional markets have to occupiers. The quality of development in these areas continues to evolve and improve which is driving demand from occupiers looking to secure easily commutable, sustainable workspace that is rich in amenity and communal facilities for their staff. In the last 3 months alone we’ve seen over 500,000 sq ft of new requirements circulated from occupiers looking to secure space within these regional markets. We’re expecting take up to remain strong in the remaining quarters of the year.”

MOAF was formed in 2009, and members include Avison Young, BE Group, CBRE, Colliers International, Canning O’Neill, Cushman & Wakefield, Edwards & Co, Hallams Property Consultants, JLL, Knight Frank, LSH, Matthews & Goodman, OBI, Savills, Sixteen, and TSG Property Consultants.

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