UK Property News 25th October 2011

The regional office occupier market has improved each quarter this year following a sluggish start, according to a report from GVA.
The Big Nine report, which looks at take-up in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Liverpool, recorded that overall take-up in those centres was 22% above the quarterly average in Q3, at 1.9m sq ft. The 94,000 sq ft letting in Liverpool at the Plaza to Weightmans Solicitors was the largest in Q3. GVA said that although headline rents and incentives have remained static this year, the shortfall in new supply has seen deals becoming more competitive, and the glut of secondary property has caused average rents to weaken. Carl Potter, director and National head of offices at GVA, said: “Birmingham and Cardiff city centres and Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle out-of-town markets have performed particularly well over the past quarter.
The deals in the pipeline for the rest of the year will guarantee a solid year’s activity, although renewed economic uncertainty and patchy long term enquiries indicate a tough year ahead. “Take-up in the nine city centres has been spread more evenly than usual this quarter, with no exceptional levels of take-up in any one city.” City centre take-up totalled 1.12 million sq ft in Q3, 10% above the quarterly average. Availability of prime space continues to creep down in the city centres particularly in the core.