West Gate secured Q2's largest deal. Credit: via LOAF

Leeds H1 office take-up climbs 53% year-on-year

Figures from the Leeds Office Agents Forum show 412,756 sq ft of city centre space let in 2023’s first six months, as the second quarter built on a strong start.

The Q2 stats show 146,042 sq ft of city centre space transacted across 31 deals to take the H1 number over 400,000 sq ft, a 53% increase compared with the same six-month period in 2022.

The largest second quarter deal in the city centre saw HM Courts & Tribunal Service commit to 26,328 sq ft in Bruntwood’s West Gate scheme: the service will move from offices on East Parade later this year.

Other notable deals included the lettings at CEG’s Globe Point, with Reed Smith and Specialist Computer Centres each taking individual floors of 6,479 sq ft and 4,290 sq ft respectively.

At 12 King Street, Reward Finance Group and Page Group committed to a total of 11,649 sq ft, while Wellington Place attracted Hill Dickinson and Begbies Traynor.

Earlier this year, the first quarter had been given a major boost by the 124,000 sq ft let to banking group Lloyds at Wellington Place.

Commenting on the newly compiled numbers on behalf of LOAF, Knight Frank partner Eamon Fox said: “The flight to quality from occupiers seeking the best-in-class office space continued which helped bolster take-up in the second quarter. In all, we have seen a good momentum of activity in the city centre over the first half of 2023.”

With available stock dwindling, the forum said that prime rents have continued to increase, showed by several deals being concluded at £36 per sq ft or more.

Fox continued: “A shortage of grade A city centre offices until spades go in the ground to start on new developments will be a real issue this year and into next. It is clear that the best quality stock continues to be in high demand.”

The decentralised Leeds market experienced a more subdued second quarter with 54,830 sq ft of take-up across 15 deals recorded.

The largest deal to complete was at White Rose Park, where Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust took 18,836 sq ft. Another deal of note was Inseego, the fleet management software business, which signed for 5,005 sq ft at South Central.

Carter Towler director Clem McDowell said: “Set against the challenging macroeconomic backdrop, the out-of-town market still showed a pleasing level of activity, with take-up just short of 100,000 sq ft for the first half of this year.

“While the number of deals is down, activity has continued to come from a broad range of occupiers and shows the attraction of business parks with ready accessibility, public transport links, and good onsite parking and amenities.”

The LOAF membership is made up of Avison Young, BNP Paribas Real Estate, Bowcliffe, Carter Towler, Carter Jonas, CBRE, Colliers, Cushman & Wakefield, Fox Lloyd Jones, JLL, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Sanderson Weatherall, Savills, and WSB.

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