MOAF - Manchester Office Market - Q2 2018

Office take-up in Manchester city centre reached 327,000 sq ft in the second quarter of 2018, taking the total for the year’s first half to 770,000 sq ft.

Both figures are significantly higher than the same periods in 2017, when take up totalled 283,000 sq ft in Q2 and 487,000 sq ft in H1. Seventy six central office deals were completed in the period, the largest being the 54,000 sq ft finally agreed with WSP at Ask’s No8 First Street.

Other key deals included 40000 sq ft let to Handelsbanken at AEW’s 101 Barbirolli Square and 34,500 sq ft at Epsilon Real Estate Partners’ Aeroworks, taken by travel company On The Beach.

Over the last five years, the city centre market has typically reached between 1.2m sq ft and 1.4m sq ft for the full year.

Outside of the city centre, the total office take up for Salford Quays and Old Trafford in Q2 was 52,000 sq ft, bringing the H1 2018 total to 121,500 sq ft – a 30% year-on-year increase. The largest deal in Q2 was at Centenary House, where Regus acquired 22,000 sq ft.

In the South Manchester market, 216,000 sq ft was taken, bringing the H1 total to 385,000 sq ft, a 16% increase on the same period in 2017. The largest deal was the sale of Lakeside 3400 at Cheadle Royal Business Park to Pure Offices.

At the larger end of the live requirements in that market is The Hut Group, which has taken around 51,000 sq ft at Manchester Airport already this year, and is believed to be seeking up to 250,000 sq ft. Other tech-related occupiers are also in the market for large-scale campus-style accommodation, agents say.

In the central market, deals that could land in Q3 include the whole of the 90,000 sq ft Hanover in the NOMA estate going to Amazon and WeWork in a flexible arrangement between the two parties – the co-working specialist is seeking a third Manchester space to join No. 1 Spinningfields and One St Peter’s Square.

Barclays has a requirement for a campus of up to 600,000 sq ft, for which U+I’s Mayfield is a contender, along with Airport City North. Although the project has been put on hold this year, the completion of a deal this week for a Scottish hub at Drum Property’s Buchanan Wharf could trigger the Manchester project’s resumption.

This research is compiled by MOAF (Manchester Office Agent's Forum). Formed in 2009, 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.

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