The number of deals on existing stock combined with the on-going negotiations on substantial pre-commitments on stock should make 2017 a record year for office transactions for Central Leeds, according to Colliers International. This is despite H1 2017 office transaction levels in Leeds being 19 per cent below the five-year average.

Roddy Morrison, Director in Colliers International’s Leeds Office’s National Capital Markets division commented: “Our latest market snapshot reveals that there have only been three deals over 20,000 sq ft in H1 including 45,058 sq ft, which was let to Burberry at 6 Queen Street; 26, 968 sq ft to Willis Towers Watson at 5 Wellington Place and 22,441 sq ft to BW Legal at 1 Apex View. Whilst this could suggest that there was still some uncertainty around the EU-referendum, which has had an impact on occupiers’ real estate strategy, we believe that prospects for H2 2017 are looking much healthier.

“With £30 per sq ft having been achieved as part of the Burberry deal at 6 Queen Street, a new Headline Grade A rental level has been set and other schemes have increased quoting rents accordingly. This is positive for the viability of future development prospects, and still leaves Leeds as a cost effective alternative to the other competing ‘Big 6’ regional office market locations for footloose occupiers.

“The pipeline of committed new build development is extremely limited, with only 111,419 sq ft at 3 Wellington Place coming to the market in December 2017. However, other opportunities exist with a number of new high quality refurbishments currently being committed to delivery within the next 6-18 months, whilst other new build proposal designs are being firmed up.”