City centre surge in office demand

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Sheffield is experiencing a renaissance, thanks to a major increase in demand from companies seeking a presence in the heart of the city.

According to property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton, there has been a 77 per cent increase in demand for city centre offices compared to the same period last year.

LSH’s Rob Darrington, head of office agency for Sheffield, says: “It’s a bit too early to break out the champagne but growth in demand like this, coupled with positive UK growth stories, suggest the future is looking much brighter for the city.”

However, premium office accommodation is in short supply and LSH says the volume of available grade A and B space is down by five per cent on last year.

“An increase in demand is only a good thing if we have the supply needed to meet it; if we don’t people will have to look elsewhere,” Rob Darrington warns.

“We need a good supply of premium grade A offices to give us room to grow. At the moment the market is blighted by a diminishing supply of grade A space.

“This lack of product has also impacted on investors. Despite a resurgence in interest from investors in the regional office markets, this lack of well-located good quality product is why we’ve not seen this filter through to Sheffield.”

Information on the market in LSH’s latest Office Market Pulse report reinforces earlier findings of property consultants Knight Frank.

The Knight Frank report showed that take-up in the Sheffield office market was up by more than a third in the second quarter of 2013, compared with the same period last year. The report also warned of an impending office shortage.