A Record Year for Office Lettings !

| Helen Hallsworth


After a record Q4, Manchester property consultants, Canning O’Neill let more space across Manchester, Salford Quays, Old Trafford and South Manchester than any other agent (MOAF figures).

Canning O’Neill let 583,325 sq ft over the 12-month period across 128 transactions.

  Canning O’Neill Disposals
Total sq ft Let No. of transactions
Manchester City Centre 185,902 51
South Manchester 101,605 34
Salford Quays 257,817 33
Old Trafford 38,001 10
Total 583,325 128


It wasn’t only lettings that were successful, Canning O’Neil also acquired 42,363 sq ft on behalf of clients across 7 transactions.

Manchester City Centre

81 Fountain StreetAgainst many expectations, Manchester city centre take up in 2016 once again reached above 1.3 million sq ft, the 3rd time in the last 3 years and well above the average annual figure for the last 5 years and 10 years.

2016 saw a relatively slow start, with just over 420,000 sq ft taken up in the first half of the year, however the market rallied very strongly in the 2nd half of the year with deals of 10,000 sq ft and above accounted for c. 57% of take up (50% in 2015), and 24% of take up comprising deals of 50,000 sq ft plus. Average deal size in 2016 was 5,045 sq ft (4,294 sq ft in 2015).

There were also a few surprise deals, most notably Kier Property’s clever purchase of 81 Fountain Street, and then completing a profitable sale and lease-back of the building, taking 38,000 sq ft for their own occupation.

South Manchester

Altitude ImageThe South Manchester office market in general remains in a reasonably buoyant state with a healthy level of demand across all sectors of the market.  The business parks around Manchester Airport have witnessed some good activity in terms of lettings over the last 12 months.

The more traditional suburbs of South Manchester such as Altrincham, Sale and Wilmslow have all seen good levels of take up on the better quality refurbished stock. As an example, there was over 17,000 sq ft let in Wilmslow in 4 deals in Q4 with the Medical and TMT sectors being particularly active.

Significant deals included 10,152 sq ft let to Simon Carves at Altitude Business Park and 4,080 sq ft let to Sosandar at Water Lane, Wilmslow.

Salford Quays

Exchange Quay62016 has been a steady rather than spectacular year for Salford Quays/MediaCityUK. 2016 was very much Exchange Quay’s year. With the remodelling of the scheme completed, Hunter REIM let or sold 198,000 sq ft in the 12 months which represented an impressive 63% of the areas total annual take up figure of 314,923 sq ft, with 30% of the figure attributed to the sale of 94,000 sq ft at Exchange Quay to AJ Bell.

MediaCityUK apart, we expect that prime rents will hit their pre-recession levels of £19.00-£20.00 per sq ft on existing space during the course of 2017, this still represents excellent value compared to Manchester City Centre. Watch out for Urban Splash’s rejuvenation of The Office Village at EQ!

Speaking about the achievement, John Nash, director, Canning O’Neill commented: “Overall the market Image of John Nash

has shown resilience and take up across Manchester has remained remarkably consistent. The EU referendum certainly made a few pause for thought but the underlying strength of the occupier market shone through in the final figures. Rents across he city have continued to see steady growth, with quoting rents for refurbished office space now at £30 per sq ft.”

MOAF recorded the highest quarter figures since 2010 with 621,016 sq ft let across 83 transactions in Q4 of 2016, naming Manchester the best performing regional city for office take up in 2016, outperforming cities including Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds and Bristol.

Looking for office space to let in Manchester? Take a look at our wide range of office space in Greater Manchester here.