Following hot on the heels of a report that revealed that the UK’s ‘big nine’ city markets have experienced a five-year low in terms of regional office take-up, Manchester seems to be making significant progress in terms of economic recovery in the wake of Brexit and all the uncertainty it brought.

This is according to real estate advisors Colliers International, who recently released their latest office market snapshot which showed that Manchester city centre now has the largest pipeline of Grade A office stock since the recession of 2008.

A view of the Manchester skyline   - Img:
The total amount of Grade A office space being built and due for completion by 2019 totals 733,000sq ft across six developments, including sites at 2 St Peter’s Square, 1 Spinningfields, 8 First Street, 125 Deansgate (Lincoln House), Hanover NOMA and Landmark, the former Odeon cinema site. A further 1.26m sq ft of Grade A office space is planned across seven developments, located at 11 York Street, 2 Angle Square, 3 Angle Square, Astley/Byrom, 1 Brazennose, 100 Embankment and 2 New Bailey Square.

146,000sq ft of the space due for completion has already been let, leaving 586,466sq ft up for grabs, and that’s before work begins on the aforementioned later developments.

Peter Gallagher, director of national offices at the Manchester office of Colliers International, said, “Manchester has always prided itself on having a ready supply of good quality ready-to-occupy offices available, which has enabled us to compete effectively for large footloose enquiries.

“Although the current shortage has threatened that ability, the number of projected schemes in Manchester represents the largest pipeline of stock in the city since the recession, although more than half of the schemes due to complete in 2017 have already been pre-let.”

It all looks rather promising for the city of Manchester, as the Colliers snapshot also revealed a recorded take-up of top quality office space in the city totalling 208,233sq ft split over 73 transactions, which sits at 6% above the total for the first quarter of 2016, although the average size of individual transactions has seen a reduction. I guess that old movie was right all along; if you build it, they will come.

The Manchester Evening News reports that the largest transaction of the first quarter of 2017 saw Travel Jigsaw take 22,196sq ft at the newly refurbished Spring House at 42-44 Fountain Street.

Mr Gallagher further commented that this on-going imbalance between supply and demand of Grade A space will likely have an effect on pricing, with the best quality spaces costing around £40 per sq ft by the end of the decade. Currently, this figure sits at around £35 per sq ft.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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