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Bristol Office Market Ends 2017 on a High

25th January 2018

Good levels of take up in Bristol Office Market

Bristol's office market performed well in the final three months of last year, with take-up hitting a "healthy" 173,017 sq ft in the city centre, the Bristol Office Agent's Society has reported.
Demand remained high throughout 2017 and Q4 saw several deals from earlier in the year cross the line, the Society said.

The largest city centre deal in Q4 was the letting of 28,718 sq ft of second and third floor space to Dyson at Castleforge's One Cathedral Square.

The building is now fully let following a comprehensive refurbishment, with the University of Bristol taking 27,341 sq ft of ground and first floor space. As well as being fully let, the investment was sold to F&C Commercial Property Trust Limited at the end of the year.

Take-up levels were also boosted with the letting of 26,985 sq ft at Cubex's Aurora, where Simmons and Simmons have signed to take the top two floors. The scheme is the only speculative development underway and with other developments taking time to come to market, grade A supply is set to remain scarce throughout 2018.

Grade A take-up has outperformed expectations this quarter, with just over 100,000 sq ft of space being taken out of the city centre market, the Society said.

It added: "Not only is this take-up higher than expected but we have also seen grade A rents reach a new record level with £32.50 per sq ft achieved at One Cathedral Square."

Bristol's out of town office market has also continued to perform well in Q4 the society said, with take-up reaching 142,063 sq ft from 16 deals.

This was boosted, in particular, by the pre-let of 85,790 sq ft of new office space at 100 Bristol Business Park, to Babcock International.

Overall, the Bristol office market has fared well during continued times of economic uncertainty and this year's take-up statistics support this. Take-up in the city centre for the year totaled 614,128 sq ft which is ahead of the ten year average. The out of town market saw a total take up of 425,292sq ft which is considerably above both the 10 and five year averages. When combined, the greater Bristol market saw over 1m sq ft of offices transacted in 2017. This is above average and indicates there is robust demand across the market.

Hartnell Taylor Cook's, office agency director, Chris Grazier said: "It has been a positive year for Bristol's office market; demand is strong but we must be careful we don't lose momentum through a lack of availability. We need to ensure ‘future Dysons' can find the calibre of office space they need in the city, otherwise there is a danger they will go elsewhere."

Ian Wills, a director in office agency at JLL in Bristol, said: "There is around 100,000 sq ft of refurbished space being delivered in early 2018 at Templepoint and Programme which will help tackle the acute shortage of good quality office space in Bristol but supply is still short. We are expecting this to drive speculative development on several major new office schemes in the city this year, including Assembly and Distillery.

"However, with major projects such as these taking almost 2 years to complete, we must keep thinking ahead to ensure the city continues to be a successful business hub, providing vital jobs for its communities."