Liverpool city-centre offices face tipping point – GVA

Liverpool city centre could soon face an undersupply of Grade A office space, says GVA. Very few new and Grade A refurbishment schemes have been speculatively developed in recent years, and none are scheduled to start on site in the foreseeable future. Occupiers may thus have fewer options than previously expected, the firm warns.

GVA’s analysis reveals “a fairly healthy pipeline” of potential future demand from occupiers that may be seeking better specified, more efficient and more sustainable office space in Liverpool with large floorplates. A number of pending deals could see take-up of new and Grade A refurbished office space exceed 150,000 sq ft by the end of the year, further reducing supply. This compares with a five-year average of 172,000 sq ft, the firm notes. GVA believes there is currently over 375,000 sq ft of publicly known named demand for new and Grade A refurbished office space in the market – this excludes non-publicised requirements, longer-term requirements and occupiers with lease events in the next two to five years that have not yet begun to search for new premises.

The “tipping point”, where the city moves to undersupply, is in 2015 according to the analysis, but GVA points out that it may actually be even nearer, given the number of current live requirements in the market that are actively seeking Grade A space within the next 18 to 24 months, because the remaining available office space may not suit the particular requirements of these occupiers.

GVA therefore believes that Liverpool city centre could face a potential undersupply of good-quality space by the end of 2014-early 2015. “With no new build schemes currently on site, there is a clear opportunity for developers to bring forward product towards the end of 2014/early 2015,” the firm says.