Manchester is the biggest city for office space outside London

Manchester has agreed more office space deals during the first quarter of 2015, than any other of the eight large regional cities.

For the first three months of 2015, Data provided by Bilfinger GVA reveals that Manchester has topped the list amongst the eight big regional cities outside of London.

A total of two million sq ft of office space has been utilised across the UK’s largest nine cities, which remains 5% above the 5-year quarterly average.

David Thwaites of Bilfinger GVA Manchester said, “The first three months for other cities have generally shown mixed results, but Manchester continues to lead the way with numerous large transactions, including lettings to Ernst & Young and PWC”.

He continues to say, “With a number of outstanding pre-let opportunities still to be finalised, Manchester City centre is set for another strong year”.

Although there appears to be a current shortage of quality office space available, the estimated figures for 2015 should still exceed one million sq ft. This will again establish Manchester as the largest city outside of London to be the number one business destination.

Out of town regions have also enjoyed an increase in office space take-up, with Salford Quays having a strong start to the year. With a 63% increase on take-up compared to 2014, other regions are clearly also reaping the rewards.

It doesn’t stop there for Manchester, as office market data from surveyors JLL and the Centre for Cities shows not only a positive economic expansion for the city, but are in a great position to become a competitive European regional capital.

Research by JLL also revealed that property investment volumes totalled £1.7bn in 2014, which is the highest on record. The city is positioned well with other similar European cities like Hamburg, which averages around £2bn. Leasing volumes within the city centre also saw a record high at 1.3m sq ft.

Additional research also showed a shift in the sector focus of investment, with 50% now in the office market, compared with 20% over the past 5 years. This shows an obvious increase in interest from large-scale investors, and the growing confidence in Manchester’s economy.

Jon Neale, the head of research at JLL said, “Manchester and the north west is forecast see very strong office employment growth in the short term to medium term, exceeding London on some measures. The demand for office space in Manchester will remain strong, buoyed by ‘North shoring’ as companies reassess the costs associated with having large numbers of staff in the capital”.

Manchester now has a great opportunity to continue expansion in the office space market, increasing the number of businesses who will consider its location.

However, there is currently limited available office space in the city, and it’s important over the next few years that Manchester continues to introduce new schemes to ensure the city is able to continue to capitalise on the significant growth potential.

Latest figures from Oxford Economics show that Manchester will enjoy employment increases of up to 20% over the next 5 years. This is in the city’s strong technology and professional services sector.

Employment growth in the private sector is set to outperform London and many other large regional cities up to at least 2019.

The expectation is that Manchester will outperform the UK, US and global GDP growth over the next three years.

Leave a comment