Occupier take-up in the second half of the year reached 188,506 sq ft. This followed an exceptionally strong first half, bringing total office take-up for the whole of 2015 to 494,283 sq ft. This is 80% higher than the previous year and 57% above the five year annual average; it is also the highest level of annual take-up on record since 2002, when the data series first began.
Leasing transactions in H2 2015 were boosted by the University of Sheffield’s acquisition at Cathedral Court of c. 10,000 sq ft of retail ground floor space and 30,000 sq ft of office accommodation above, for their own occupation. Other notable deals include solicitors Wake Smith’s occupation of c.12,500 sq ft in the Velocity Building, Fragomen’s completion on 12,000 sq ft of office accommodation at Saville House and XLC Telecom’s lease of an additional 14,000 sq ft at Northbank in July 2015.
Overall, deals were largely driven by the Professional services, which accounted for almost a third of total space transacted in H2. The Public sector and companies in the Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) sector were responsible for a further 18% and 11%, respectively, of total take-up in H2 2015.
The majority of take-up in H2 was Grade B quality, reflecting the lack of available Grade A space. However, the completion of 3 St Paul’s in December 2015 has brought an additional 76,000 sq ft of Grade A space to the city centre.
Source : Knight Frank