Central Manchester’s office market is firmly on course for a fifth consecutive 1m sq ft-plus year, with first quarter take-up more than doubling 2017’s first quarter total at 442,000 sq ft.

The largest deal was the 157,200 sq ft pre-let of 3 New Bailey to HM Revenue & Customs, with the English Cities Fund office, still to be constructed, set to serve as HMRC’s Greater Manchester hub. The deal represents the largest pre-let in central Manchester for more than a decade.

In total, there were 82 transactions completed in Q1, other notable deals included Irwin Mitchell taking 33,400 sq ft and CBRE 11,300 sq ft to fill One St Peter’s Square.

Together with the 3 New Bailey deal, these transactions accounted for 45% of all take-up in Manchester city centre.

In South Manchester, Q1 take-up totalled 178,200 sq ft, a 27% year-on-year increase. Large-scale occupiers returned to this market, as evidenced by the Hut Group’s acquisition of 40,300 sq ft at the 4M Manchester Airport.

In Warrington, first quarter take-up was 70,700 sq ft, a 17% decrease on the corresponding period in 2017. The highlights were at Lingley Mere where 10,800 sq ft was let to Asics and at Cinnabar Court where 10,200 sq ft was acquired by Greensil.

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.