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Bristol commercial property market turns the corner as city centre office deals increase24th October 2013

Bristol commercial property market turns the corner as city centre office deals increaseThe office sector of the Bristol commercial property market has finally turned the corner with take up for the first three quarters of 2013 considerably up on the five year average, according to property experts at Colliers International.

The Broad Quay based agency reported an improvement in both the number of larger transactions as well as an increase in significant enquiries.

National offices director James Preece said the improvement had been building throughout the year.

“City centre take up remained close to 140,000 sq ft for each quarter so far in 2013. Q3 take up is 36 per cent above the five year average.

Q3 saw five deals in excess of 10,000 sq ft, compared with only two this time last year. The largest of these was the letting of 39,000 sq ft to Veale Wasbrough Vizards at Narrow Quay House.

The largest Grade A letting was Barclays acquisition of 18,759 sq ft at Bridgwater House in Finzels Reach.

“There has also been an improvement in the size of transactions completing this quarter with 36 per cent being above 5,000 sq ft.”

Grade A quoting rents have edged up slightly with Skanska marketing 66 Queen Square at £29.50 per sq ft.

Professional, financial and the media sectors have been dominant in the City Centre so far this year.

The out of town sector is not quite so rosy with Q3 take up similar to Q2 at circa 50,000 sq ft - around 11 per cent below the five year average for this quarter.

The lack of large transactions continued with the largest in Q3 being the letting of 8,895 sq ft at Fromeford House, Yate, to Hawkins & Associates.

Take up has been restricted to second hand refurbished (Grade B) offices. And 87 per cent of the transactions (by number) this quarter have been below 5,000 sq ft.

“Although the out of town letting market remains flat, enquiry levels are encouraging and developers and funds, perhaps buoyed by the improving London market, are looking more positively at regional markets including Bristol.”

The three speculative schemes due to complete in the next 18 months was likely to result in modest growth in rental values.

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