According to research undertaken by commercial property agent Knight Frank, this year’s market figures for Sheffield’s office space take-up are far outperforming those recorded in 2010.

Knight Frank’s Regional Office Market Presentation (ROMP) showed that the third quarter of 2011 witnessed the strongest take-up of the year with a figure of 105,175 sq ft. This confirmed predictions made by the agent’s Sheffield branch in August that 2011 figures for the City would beat last year’s.

With one quarter remaining the total take-up figure for 2011 has now reached 259,515 sq ft, which is already higher than the total figures recorded for last year of approximately 250,000 sq ft.

In a challenging economy the positive figures are a welcome boost for Sheffield’s commercial market. Knight Frank partner, Tim Bottrill, said: “Take-up for 2011 as a whole is also on course to finish marginally above the ten-year annual average – which is a very decent outcome considering all the talk of Sheffield’s relatively high exposure to the public sector and the cuts which have had a strong economic affect.”

The year’s biggest deals have been in out-of-town areas including South Yorkshire Police’s 38,000 sq ft acquisition at Carbrook House and the 19,000 sq ft leasing at Sheffield Business Park by Elliott Group. In central Sheffield the University took a substantial freehold at Edgar Allen House, totalling 20,000 sq ft and there has been a wealth of activity at the newly refurbished Fountain Precinct where several new occupiers took office space.

According to Tim there has been a marked drop in the availability of Grade A space in Sheffield city centre which now stands at 470,000 sq ft, this trend is likely to continue due to the lack of any further development in the area. Tim added: “There is no sign as yet that speculative development will return to the city centre, although the issue will come under greater scrutiny in the next 12 to 24 months, as existing space diminishes further.”

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