Regional office news 19th January 2015

City centre take-up was almost three quarters above the five-year quarterly average across the nine major UK cities in the final quarter of 2014, according to GVA research. According to GVA's Big Nine report, city centre take-up reached nearly 2m sq ft in the final three months of the year, compared to the quarterly average of 1.13m sq ft. This was the highest quarterly total recorded since GVA report launched in 2009, with the next highest quarterly take-up average being 1.5m sq ft back in the third quarter of 2010. Within the national figures the city with the highest increase in take-up in Q4 2014 was Bristol, which was more than triple the quarterly average (205% increase), while in Birmingham the increase was more than double (111%). Edinburgh (68% increase) and Manchester (51% increase) also experienced very strong city centre take-up in the final quarter of the year. Newcastle was the only city of the Big Nine to see city-centre take-up fall in Q4 2014, though out-of-town take up in Newcastle was well above the five-year quarterly average with an increase of 21%. Glasgow (82% up) and Leeds (46% up) were the top two cities in terms of increased quarterly out-of-town take-up. Net effective rents increased by an average of 5.3% over the past year, GVA reports, with Manchester and Leeds seeing the strongest growth. GVA said improving occupier demand and shortages of Grade A supply should lead to a gradual acceleration in headline regional office rental growth this year and next. The largest regional lettings last year were Standard Life Investments' lease of 108,500 sq ft at 6 St Andrew Square in Edinburgh, HS2's lease of 98,000 sq ft at Two Snowhill in Birmingham and OVO Energy's lease of 69,700 sq ft at Riversgate in Bristol