Leeds becoming a 'centre of digital excellence'

Leeds becoming a 'centre of digital excellence'

Leeds is fast becoming a centre of digital excellence, according to global property consultancy Knight Frank.

Knight Frank’s latest research into activity in the office market during the first six months of 2016 reveals that deals were dominated by the Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) sector and Professional Services, which combined, accounted for 71% of the total office take-up.

The research, published today (9 Sep), highlights the trend which has seen the TMT sector take a significant role in the occupier market. This reaffirms Leeds’ increasing reputation as a centre for digital excellence.

Eamon Fox, partner and head of office agency at Knight Frank in Leeds, said: “The commercial property headlines across the UK have, understandably, been concerned with post-Brexit fears of a slowdown.

"There is no doubt that the uncertainty caused by Brexit has affected the office market in Leeds, with the total of 47 deals completed in the first half of this year, which is down on the same period last year.

“Nevertheless, there were still a number of notable deals which took place in H1. This includes the deal which saw SkyBet take 39,065 sq ft at no. 6 Wellington Place and RSM (Baker Tilly) take 25,539 sq ft at the recently completed Central Square office development.

“The recent completions of 6 Wellington Place, 6 East Parade, Central Square and 6 Queen Street will serve as a boost to supply, which has been constrained for some time. While a number of these schemes have been subject to pre-lets, there are still some opportunities for occupiers seeking the latest Grade A office space within the city centre.

“Prime headline office rents have remained at £26.50 per sq ft so far this year. However, rents should rise to £27.00 per sq ft by the end of the year, with the most active quarter in Leeds’ occupier market to come.”

He added: “Leeds offers a UK leading choice of new offices backed by competitive rents and access to a diverse and skilled workforce. These all make our city very attractive to both local businesses as well as companies looking to relocate from the expensive and overcrowded London and south-east markets.”