Leeds construction hits nine-year high

Leeds construction hits nine-year high

Soaring demand for commercial property in Leeds has helped the city’s construction sector hit a nine-year high.

Deloitte’s latest Leeds Crane Survey shows office construction last year rose by 425,000 sq ft on the 2014 figure, a 96% rise in just 12 months. 

Angela Barnicle, director and head of real estate for Deloitte in Yorkshire, said: “This is again a positive report for Leeds, which is demonstrating sustained growth in all its sectors.

“Investors are increasingly looking towards the regions to find better value for their money compared to London, and Leeds is now starting to consolidate its position in the northern marketplace.”

Last year saw seven office developments under construction in Leeds, with three new starts on site. In a further vote of confidence in the city, 27% of this is already let and in total over a third of all the space under construction has been leased before completion.

The retail and leisure sector in the city centre also continued to benefit from ongoing significant investment. Victoria Gate, which will provide a new flagship John Lewis store, opens in 2016 and the construction of two new hotels began in 2015 adding 224 bedspaces. 

Barnicle added: “The increase in office developments and the renewed confidence in the market is helping to see the other sectors come forward.

“It’s likely the residential market will continue to grow, linked to the increase in job opportunities being created by economic growth in the city. This will have a positive knock-on effect for other sectors, in particular leisure.

“The pipeline for future investment also suggests that there will continue to be sustained momentum in the city with a strong mix of developments coming forward in 2016.”