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Leeds leads UK inward investment for Q3

Leeds benefitted from two exceptional inward investment deals with Legal and General (L&G) during the third quarter of 2019, which contributed to the highest quarterly total of inward investment in 2019 so far, across the UK’s Big Nine cities.

According to Avison Young’s Big Nine report, which examines office take up and investment volumes across the UK’s nine largest cities outside of London, investment reached £990 million during Q3, 68% up on the 10 year quarterly average.

The two Leeds deals, each worth more than £200 million were transacted within a month of each other. L&G forward-funded the Government Property Association’s 377,730 sq ft Leeds hub for £211 at 7-8 Wellington Place and it also acquired 373,900 sq ft Quarry House, let for 25 years to The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

Meanwhile, office market take-up in across Leeds city centre was dominated by the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector during Q3 of 2019.

The figures show that deals reached 132,340 sq ft in the city centre during Q3 in what has been a strong year for the Leeds market. At three quarters of the way through 2019, total city centre take-up has already exceeded the ten-year annual average.

A headline deal in Q3 came from IT consultancy firm, BJSS which took 30,500 sq ft at 1 Whitehall Quay and was one of the top five deals of all the Big Nine cities. A number of other 10,000 sq ft to 15,000 sq ft deals to media and marketing companies, such as Channel 4, ICS and JPI Media also contributed to the quarterly figures.

In the out-of-town market, home technology company SharkNinja has taken 16,000 sq ft at Thorpe Park, the largest deal on the park for six years.

Jill Goodman, director within Avison Young’s Leeds office, said: “It is tremendously positive for Leeds that take up has remained so high in Q3 despite the hesitancy seen in some regional centres.

“Leeds has welcomed substantial inward investment over the last quarter, and I believe the potential for this city to become an even more attractive proposition in the UK’s commercial office market is being realised.

“There is still a shortage of Grade A space across the city, but this in turn opens up opportunities for new developments coming through and the repositioning of older stock as the demand is certainly there.”

Avison Young is the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm.


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