MOAF: Largest deal since 2020 sees Manchester take-up climb in Q2 2022

A 130,000 sq ft government pre-let at Ask Real Estate’s First Street saw the amount of office space transacted in the second quarter of the year reach 251,429 sq ft.

This reflects an increase of 22% compared with the first three months of 2022, when overall take-up was 206,000 sq ft, according to the latest figures from Manchester Office Agents Forum.

The pre-let to the civil service at First Street was the first six-figure letting in Manchester since Roku signed for around 115,000 sq ft at Circle Square last year. It was also the largest in the city since BT’s 175,000 sq ft deal at English Cities Fund’s Four New Bailey at the end of 2020.

Steve Brittle, partner at Matthews & Goodman said the First Street deal “demonstrates confidence in the Manchester office market, despite a slower than usual start during the first quarter”.

“This letting will bolster confidence amongst larger corporate occupiers as they review and revise their occupational strategies,” he added.

In total, 54 office deals were completed in Manchester city centre in April, May and June 2022, down from 70 in the previous quarter.

The average size of transactions in Q2 was 4,725 sq ft, compared to 3,000 sq ft in Q1.

Outside of the city centre, South Manchester’s office market also saw an increase in deals. Take-up there climbed to 83,317 sq ft from 70,442 sq ft in the previous quarter.

There was good news at Salford Quays, too. Take-up for Q2 reached 92,231 sq ft for the quarter, more than double the amount of space transacted in Q1, according to MOAF.

The largest deal at Salford Quays saw New Flex take 26,151 sq ft in Building 7 at Exchange Quay.

“The New Flex letting at Exchange Quay is the latest in a number of lettings to serviced office providers demonstrating the continued demand from occupiers looking for access to fitted office space on flexible lease terms,” said Mark Bamber, partner at Knight Frank.

“It is encouraging to see an improvement in demand in Q2, a trend we expect to see continue through the year with a raft or notable lettings due to complete shortly.”

At the halfway point in 2022, Manchester has recorded 458,000 sq ft of office lettings in the city centre.

MOAF comprises commercial property agencies Avison Young, BE Group, CBRE, Colliers, Canning O’Neill, Cushman and Wakefield, Edwards and Co, Hallams Property Consultants, JLL, Knight Frank, LSH, Matthews & Goodman, OBI, Savills, Sixteen and TSG Property Consultants. 

Helen Hallsworth

About Helen Hallsworth

Helen is Office Manager / PA at Canning O'Neill.