Total take-up activity amounted to 233,000 sq ft in Bristol during Q3, 5% up on the ten year quarterly average. Key to this activity was the out-of-town market, dominated by a 132,000 sq ft off-market transaction to engineering company Babcock at Bristol Business Park. There were also a handful of sub 10,000 sq ft deals including two at Aztec West: 9,000 sq ft to lawyers Davies and Co and 4,200 sq ft to technology company Huawei. City centre activity was more subdued, which included 10,700 sq ft to Xledger at Tower Wharf and 7,000 sq ft to Gleeds at Aurora among the top deals.
Looking forward to the rest of the year, some sizeable transactions are still being agreed, as well as a letting of 37,000 sq ft signed at 2 Trinity Quay after the end of the quarter. In addition, we are aware of significant interest reported in the 83,000 sq ft Bridgewater House which is coming back to the market at the end of the year. There are also a number of active requirements, many of them either public sector, health or Covid-related.
However, post-Covid some occupiers are downsizing their requirements or postponing previously planned relocations in favour of short-term lease extensions. Stock levels are rising with more tenant space coming to the market, and availability is now at more normal levels following the past couple of years of record low city centre stock.
There are two speculative buildings under construction in Bristol: all 93,000 sq ft Distillery at Glassfields remains available and around a third of 110,000 sq ft Halo at Finzels Reach. They are due to complete this year and next year respectively.
As grade A transactions are scarce, there is little evidence to change the headline rent, which remains at £35.50 psf in the city centre and £23.50 out-of-town.
TAKE UP Q3
58,833 sq ft
Out of Town
174,589 sq ft
£35.50 per sq ft
Out of Town
£23.50 per sq ft
403,000 sq ft
TOP FIVE DEALS
KEY SECTOR ACTIVITY FOR Q1-3 2020
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