Manchester offices to face undersupply – GVA

Manchester could soon be facing an undersupply of built Grade A office space, says GVA, if current office absorption rates continue. The firm’s latest research into the market for available office space in Manchester shows that the shortage of Grade A space in the city stands in contrast to the “healthy” level of Grade B supply.

There is a healthy pipeline of demand for prime space from existing professional and financial-services occupiers, GVA notes, and considerable interest from national and international occupiers thanks to the city’s recent resilient economic performance and other positives such as its high student retention rate. However, there is a limited amount of prime space remaining, “only a single tower crane on the horizon”, and most developers are unable or unwilling to bring forward product without significant pre-commitments. The firm says that occupiers – existing and inward moving – may find that they have a shorter list of options for efficient, sustainable office space in Manchester than they had expected.

GVA says the prime core of Manchester, traditionally favoured by professional occupiers, is already in undersupply. And an undersupply situation for the city as a whole could be closer than data suggests, as the remaining stock may not suit the particular requirements of those companies seeking space. As a result, GVA thinks Manchester offices overall may be facing a situation of undersupply by Q3 2013.

“As absorption of existing Grade A office stock continues within the city it is a clear that opportunities exist for developers to bring forwards product towards the end of 2013/ early 2014,” GVA adds.