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UK Regional Offices Q4 2016

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Pre-letting activity drives take-up volumes Occupiers in the regional office market continued to be active through what became one of the most turbulent years over the last decade.

Annual take-up volumes totalled 5.1 million sq ft, just short of 2014 record total of 5.3 million sq ft. Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol and Glasgow, all had particularly strong years which was mainly driven by large pre-lets and high local market churn. With availability now critically low, particularly grade A, most cities have become pre-letting markets. As a result the two largest deals of the year were both signed for developments during their construction. Morgan Stanley took 154,000 sq ft at the Bothwell Exchange development in Glasgow, and in Manchester, Swinton Insurance took 165,000 sq ft at 101 Embankment.

In Bristol, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) took 107,000 sq ft at the development 3 Glass Wharf, due to complete in 2019. In Cardiff, Hugh James Solicitors took 100,000 sq ft at the development 2 Central Square, which will complete in 2018.