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2013: The year of change for the Leeds office market?

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - 2013: The year of change for the Leeds office market?Last year marked a significant turnaround for Leeds City Centre, with office take-up at its highest level since 2009. And, after a solid start to the year, boosted by KPMG’s pre-let agreement at Sovereign Street, 2013 looks like it is set to become Leeds’ most successful year for a decade. Adam Varley, Head of Office Agency at Lambert Smith Hampton’s (LSH) Leeds office explains.

A number of occupiers have already committed to some very significant lets in the City Centre and there is also a healthy pipeline of demand for prime space, including proposed relocations from Shulmans, Markel and potentially BSKYB and Squire Sanders.

However, if prevailing office absorption rates continue, occupier demand is likely to outstrip supply creating a two-tier market; those occupiers who can commit to a pre-let agreement and those who can’t.

This imbalance will become amplified later in the year as a raft of lease events come to fruition and occupiers compete for an ever decreasing choice of grade A space. Meanwhile, swathes of secondary space will be released back to the market, prompting landlords to undertake comprehensive refurbishment projects in order for their buildings to remain competitive, and also provide much needed modern, grade A space which occupiers are increasingly seeking.

As the larger corporate occupiers utilise the opportunity to acquire space by working with developers to satisfy their requirements, the majority who do not have the ability to wait for a building to be developed will be presented with a significant problem. The successful developer will be one who takes a calculated risk and embarks on a speculative scheme to provide genuine, new build, grade A space and will reap the rewards as competition rapidly diminishes and terms start to strengthen.

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 6th April 2013 (updated 08/04/2013)

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