22 January 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
There has been "a record level" of activity in the Manchester market this year, reaching 2.9 million sq ft, including 1.7 million sq ft in the city centre, according to property company GVA's quarterly update of regional office activity in the last period of 2018.
In quarter four, online retail giant Amazon agreed to the largest deal (90,000 sq ft) for its regional headquarters at Hanover House on Corporation Street.
For the year as a whole, the city recorded "almost £1 billion of investment activity", the report stated.
During Q4, Aviva invested in the mixed-use scheme at Enterprise City, Spinningfields and the sale of SciTech for £180 million was the largest out-of-town deal of the year.
Channel 4 chose Leeds for its regional headquarters and Talk Talk has announced it will be moving more jobs from London to Manchester.
Whilst Regus and WeWork dominated take-up in another strong year for the co-working sector, there were also deals with over 10 other operators.
Conversely, professional services activity was slow in 2018 with legal, accountancy, property and engineering all showing below average take-up.
The lack of prime stock continues to impact on headline rents, which now average £30.33 per sq ft across the 'Big Nine' cities.
With an average rent-free period of 20 months on a 10-year term, this equates to a net effective rent of £26.03 per sq ft, an increase of 4.1 per cent over the past 12 months and 30 per cent over five years.