The Bristol office market has begun 2015 with a slow start compared to 2014’s extraordinary levels of take-up, according to a new report by leading real estate firm Colliers International. 

The Colliers International research for Q1 2015 found that take-up of office space was down by 22% on last year, primarily driven by the lack of larger transactions out-of-town and the general reduction in availability levels.

Within the city centre during Q1, take-up totalled 106,000 sq ft, down just 8% on the same period last year. Transaction levels were down a marginal 6% on 2014 with an average deal size of 3,700 sq ft. Take-up in the out-of-town market was down by 38% year-on-year, totalling 67,000 sq ft in Q1, while the average deal size for Q1 was 4,500 sq ft. However, there has continued to be a good level of new enquiries for out-of-town in the first quarter, most of which has been between 5,000 and 10,000 sq ft.

Within  the city centre, there were no deals over 13,500 sq ft but there has been an excellent level of new enquiries, with a number for offices over 20,000 sq ft and few in excess of 50,000 sq ft. The biggest city centre leasehold transaction in Q1 was Mott Macdonald’s acquisition of 10,400 sq ft in Templeback – which was also the largest Grade A transaction. Colliers International has also just announced it will lease a 4,700 sq ft office at Templeback as the new location for its regional south west hub. The largest deal out-of-town was Mitie taking a lease of 13,000 sq ft at Patchway Trading Estate. By comparison, Q1 2014 saw two out-of-town transactions above 20,000 sq ft. 

James Preece, national offices director at Colliers International South West, said: “After a superb finish to 2014, office take-up has, not surprisingly, dropped at the start of this year. There is currently far less availability, particularly of larger stock out-of-town which has translated into lower levels of take-up in this sector of the market. Encouragingly, there has continued to be a good level of large new enquiries in the first quarter, especially for the city centre. We expect to see take-up levels improving throughout 2015 which should translate through to rental growth, given the diminishing supply.”