January 9, 2013
The idea that the UK is essentially a closely bound federation of city states, each with their own culture and economy is given added credence by new research from CBRE into regional variations in the commercial property market. London does things its own way, of course, but the top regional city is Manchester – the only one of eight centres that showed any evidence of rental growth during 2012, even though it was a modest increase from £29.50 per sq ft to £30 per sq ft. The full report can be viewed here. The good news from the report is that prime office rents will grow throughout the UK over the next four years, but CBRE is basing this forecast on UK GDP growth this year of a little over 1 percent, which may be optimistic given all the talk of a triple dip recession.
Of the eight cities studied in the report – the others were Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Southampton – Manchester also showed the strongest growth in office based employment, up just over 2 per cent year on year. In part, this growth has been driven by a greater focus on tech and media employment following the creation of Media City and the relocation of large parts of the BBC to Salford.