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Regional Office Market Sees Steady Improvement Yet Underlying Concerns Remain

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The regional office occupier market has improved each quarter this year following a sluggish start, according to a recent report by GVA.

The Big Nine regional centres according to GVA - Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Liverpool, all recorded the highest quarterly take-up this year. City and out-of-town take-up totalled 1,940,000 sq ft in Q3, 22% above the quarterly average.

The Big Nine, a quarterly review of the market by the UK's largest independent commercial property adviser, indicates slow but continued growth in 2011 overall, yet points to a potentially more challenging 2012.

Matthew Tootell, director of National Markets - Offices at GVA's Leeds office, comments: "Birmingham and Cardiff city centres and Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle out-of-town markets have performed particularly well over the past quarter.

"Leeds too has improved with city centre take up standing at 115,973 against an average of 88,689. It also scooped a top five Q3 2011 deal when Yorkshire Housing agreed a deal on 26,000sq ft at Dysons Chambers.

"The deals in the pipeline for the rest of the year will guarantee a solid year's activity, although renewed economic uncertainty and patchy long-term enquiries indicate tough times ahead."

While headline rents and incentives have remained static this year, the shortfall in new supply has seen some deals becoming more competitive. Conversely, the glut of secondary property is causing average rents to weaken.

Tootell continues: "Take-up in the nine city centres has been spread more evenly than usual this quarter, with no exceptional levels of take-up in any one city."

The out-of-town market took a greater proportion of activity than usual (42%), as a result of strong activity in Glasgow.

City centre take-up totalled 1.12 million sq ft in Q3, 10% above the quarterly average. The 94,000 sq ft letting in Liverpool at the Plaza to Weightmans Solicitors was the largest in Q3. Availability of prime space continues to creep down in the city centres particularly in the core.

For further information on GVA's latest Big None report visit www.gva.co.uk/research






GVA profile

GVA is the UK's largest independent commercial property consultant operating from 12 offices with 890 fee earners generating a turnover of £129.5 million year ending 30 April 2011.

The company provides a full range of property-related advisory led services including agency, planning, development and regeneration, rating, building consultancy, investment, management, valuation and corporate recovery.

It also offers specialist advice in areas such as finance, economic & social policy, telecomms, education, healthcare, hotels & leisure, retail, sustainability, contamination, plant and machinery and the automotive and roadside sectors. For further information visit http://www.gva.co.uk/

GVA is a founding member of GVA Worldwide, an international organisation serving key markets in over 25 countries. The organisation comprises of over 2,500 real estate professionals in over 85 markets worldwide.

A leading advisor in commercial real estate, GVA Worldwide optimises client portfolios locally and around the world. It serves the real estate needs of clients including multinational corporations, major space users, developers, owners, institutions, lenders and investors. For more information visit http://www.gvaworldwide.com/