According to a recent report by commercial property management group GVA, Leeds followed an impressive first half of the year with its highest level of activity in the final quarter of 2013, with office take-up totalling 259,111sq ft, which is 76% above its five year annual average.
Recent significant deals in Leeds include Leeds City Council committing to 170,000sq ft in a complete refurbishment of Merrion House. Professional services company KPMG also agreed to take the remaining grade A space at Broad Gate.
The report, called The Big Nine, reports that last year, GVA’s nine city centres – including Leeds and all major cities outside of London – recorded the highest level of annual office take-up within the last five years, totalling 4.82m sq ft.
Deals at White Rose Park and Leeds Valley Park, also saw out-of-town take-up in Leeds in 2013 more than double its five year annual average.
Matthew Tootell, director of national Offices at GVA, said: “It is clear both from investor sentiment and the levels of occupier demand that the UK’s regional cities are once again beginning to push forward.
“However, moving forward there are clear constraints which will curb new speculative office development. Whilst we have seen the early signs that this market is returning, there is clearly going to be a looming shortfall in Grade A availability.
This will provide selective rental growth during 2014 onwards and investors are now more willing to consider an increased exposure to risk where the right levels of return justify it.
“From an occupational perspective there are now a fairly significant number of deals close to finalisation which suggests that we should see 2014 being even better.”