Liverpool office supply falls to ‘critical’ levels – despite rise in out-of-town lettings

Mixed picture from the latest ‘Big Nine’ report by commercial property agency GVA which analyses the top nine regional office markets outside London. Tony McDonough reports.

Caspian House at Atlantic Park in Sefton saw the biggest letting of the final quarter of 2016

Liverpool’s out-of-town office market closed 2016 on a high with 55,000 sq ft of deals – but supply in and out of the city centre has fallen to “critical levels”.

That’s the mixed picture from the latest ‘Big Nine’ report by GVA which analyses the top nine regional office markets outside London.

Read how Liverpool has lost more than 1m sq ft of space in the past two years

The report revealed that deals outside of the city centre were up nearly 20% on the five-year average of 40,000 sq ft.

The biggest deal of the quarter was the letting to Glasgow-based call centre operator, Kura which took 34,201 sq ft at Caspian House, Atlantic Park in Sefton and represents the fourth-largest deal of all the Big Nine cities during Q4 2016.

Deals in the final quarter of 2016 in Liverpool city centre reached approximately 80,000 sq ft with the largest letting being to Armstrong Solicitors, which acquired 22,500 sq ft at the Plaza.

It was also confirmed that HMRC has chosen India Buildings as its preferred option for a 300,000 sq ft requirement.

Ian Steele, director at GVA in Liverpool, said: “We have seen a trend of buildings in the traditional core, and in particular the Water Street area being sold and converted for alternative uses during the course of the past couple of years.

“As a consequence, the city has lost in excess of one million sq ft of office stock and it is therefore good to see one of Liverpool’s most iconic buildings being retained for office use.

Ian Steele, director at GVA in Liverpool

“Supply levels for good quality space in both the city centre and out of town markets are at critical levels which is primarily due to the fact that no new buildings have been developed in either market since 2011 and 2009 respectively.”

As well as Liverpool, GVA’s Big Nine report also focuses on office trends in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

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