Jan 19, 2012

Office space take-up in Manchester fell in 2011

A recent new report discussed how the office space market in the Manchester city centre underperformed last year. 

While it did not mention the reasons why the market struggled, nervousness about Britain’s economy in the light of the Eurozone crisis and unemployment concerns may have prompted a weak office space take-up among businesses.

City centre take-up in one of the UK’s top cities fell from 1.3 million square feet in 2010 to 700,000 square feet in 2011. It is also below the ten-year average of about 900,000 square feet. The numbers for South Manchester were better, but the north- west did not fare any better. 

The fall in demand among occupiers and a surplus of available space was to blame for north-west Manchester’s poor performance. The interest in and enquiries about office space openings from prospective tenants was also lower last year.

While crucial decisions on the Eurozone debt woes are still to be finalized, back home, the joblessness worries have risen. According to the latest figures, unemployment in Britain saw a rise of 118,000 between September and November.

The current joblessness levels are at their seventeen-year high, and this has some bearing on the office space market. So, while it can be argued that global investment in UK commercial and office property remains robust, UK-based businesses are thinking twice before investing in new offices.

However, office space agents, while admitting that 2012 will be a challenging year for the Manchester office space market, remain hopeful that the city will attract steady occupier demand in 2012.


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