Office take-up levels in the Liverpool City Region exceeded 500,000 sq ft for the fifth year running, according to the city’s latest commercial property report. The 12th annual Commercial Office Market Review analysed key trends across the office market in 2016 and revealed a mixed picture for the city, with challenges remaining around the ‘dramatic fall in availability’ of office stock.
The report detailed there was just over 50,000 sq ft of vacant Grade A space remaining in the Commercial District, down from 91,869 sq ft in 2015. The City Fringe and Out of Town markets revealed a similar story, with vacant office supply decreasing by 217,016 sq ft from 2015.
The report, which is jointly produced by member office agents of Professional Liverpool’s Property Group and supported by the Liverpool BID Company, was launched to a property audience on Thursday morning. (March 9th)
Guests heard that despite overall take-up for the Liverpool City Region being down by 9.3 per cent, take-up in the city centre (Commercial District and City Fringe) was up 1 per cent.
The Commercial District saw the strongest increase in take-up, a rise of 13 per cent, the second highest figure since 2009.
Bill Addy, chief executive of the Liverpool BID Company, said: “It is extremely encouraging to see that take-up remains positive, particularly in the Commercial District, but we do need to address the issues around the shortage of office stock. It’s encouraging to see schemes such as Pall Mall coming to fruition as it will provide the Grade A space that is much needed to attract investors to the city.
“We need to continue to encourage this investment and further growth in the city’s office market so we can move it to the next level.”
Tony Reed, chairman of the Property Group of Professional Liverpool said: “Take-up remains strong and we have seen a good amount of deals recorded, particularly in the City Fringe area, with a 57 per cent increase in the number of deals, showing continued confidence in the commercial property market.
“Sector wise, we’ve seen a rise in professional services, along with training and the creative, IT and media sectors. We’re also continuing to see the trend of office space being converted for residential/leisure use, for example, Silkhouse Court, Reliance House and Corn Exchange. With this comes a reduction in office supply, however, with around 1.2m sq ft of office space remaining in the Commercial District.”
Other highlights of the report included smaller lettings continuing to dominate the market in the Commercial District with 51 per cent of all lettings under 1,000 sq ft.
There were more than 1.3m sq ft of investment transactions completed in the Commercial District, with the largest deal being the sale of Exchange Flags (350,000 sq ft) to Shelborn Asset Management.
Next week, thousands of property professionals will decend on the world’s leading property event in Cannes, MIPIM, where the report will be showcased on the Liverpool stand at a drinks reception. Later in the month, (March 24th) Professional Liverpool’s annual Cannes Do will see more than 600 property professionals gather at the Rum Warehouse.