More encouragement on office take-up

THE amount of office space occupied in Sheffield during the second quarter of 2011 is once again set to be higher than the long-term averages, according to national commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH).

Total take-up for the three months that ended on June 30 is predicted to reach 81,800 sq ft, an improvement on the 68,000 sq ft recorded during quarter one, and more than double that of the corresponding period for 2010.

Rob Darrington, Head of Office Agency at LSH Sheffield, said: “Sheffield’s office market has witnessed positive signs of growth over the first half of this year.

“Confidence has been undoubtedly buoyed by major lettings such as BSkyB’s acquisition of 23,577 sq ft at Ventana House in March, with major deals this quarter including a 38,000 sq ft letting to Sheffield Hallam University and 20,000 sq ft at Sheffield Business Park.”

LSH has also reported an additional 50,000 sq ft in legals, which is due to complete within the next few weeks.

Mr Darrington added: “If take-up is maintained at this rate, the annual figures will be closer to the levels witnessed pre-recession.

“However, existing supply is now heavily weighted towards secondary stock, which accounts for almost 70% of total available office space in Sheffield.

“The diminishing availability of prime stock is expected to lead to the hardening of incentives and modest increases in prime rents in the near future, pointing to a shift in the balance of power between landlords and tenants.”