Supply of new Liverpool offices expected to shrink

Posted on by John Cronin

Liverpool Vision is predicting the already limited supply of new office space in the city is set to shrink further in the months ahead.

Liverpool Vision, the city’s economic development company, has published its annual market review of the commercial Liverpool offices market. The report (.pdf format), covering 2010, is a comprehensive analysis of quality-assured data collated from local commercial property agents and professionals.

The report indicates that the Liverpool offices market is showing signs of recovery with demand for smaller office suites located in the Central Business District (CBD) up 30% compared with 2009. Liverpool is also seeing strong demand for office floor space from the creative, media and digital industries with a near 9% increase on 2009 amounting to a total take-up of 46,349 sq ft of floor space.

St Pauls SquareThe availability of Grade A office space in the city centre is falling with further shrinkage expected due to the lack of speculative, new-build schemes. As at November, 2010 a total of 173,178 sq ft of Grade A floor space was empty and available for occupation. Grade B rated offices (defined as any office building over 5 years old) are the most popular and account for 59% of CBD lettings.

There is approximately 52,000 sq ft of unoccupied floor space remaining at the 20 Chapel Street scheme and the only other significant, Grade A development is the final phase of St Pauls Square (pictured). Expected to be completed by summer 2011, the speculative development will add an additional 109,000 sq ft of floor space to the market.

The published report does not include an analysis of rental prices however the Liverpool Daily Post reports that the headline rent for the CBD is £21 / sq ft. Mike Stares, director of Rumford Investments, 20 Chapel Street owners, believes that once incentives are taken into consideration the true headline rent is approximately £18 / sq ft.


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