Dominic Pozzoni, director, national offices at the Manchester office of real estate advisors Colliers International, gives his 2019 forecasts for the Manchester office and investment markets.
As a leading global city and with the second largest economy in Great Britain, Manchester is set to continue to grow and see ongoing investment in 2019.
During 2018 the digital and tech sector has grown faster in Manchester than anywhere else in Europe. A number of major office occupiers including Amazon, BUPA, Booking.com, Jaguar Land Rover, Royal London Group, Kellogg’s and The Hut Group have seen the numerous benefits of locating and expanding within the region. This has been as a result of a combination of factors including the extensive talent pool (100,000 students in four universities and a 72 per cent student retention rate in Manchester), the ever expanding Manchester International Airport and the communication links. I think that in 2019, we will see increasing number of businesses relocate divisions into the region, whom in addition to the previous factors, will also be further attracted by their overall reduced outgoings.
As I look out every day from our 12th floor office in the CBD and look across the city and beyond, the skyline is in a period of major transition on an unprecedented basis. Since I started my career in 1993, I have never seen so many cranes in the sky. During 2019, we will see a number of these developments completed, occupied and brought to life by new residents, businesses and hotel operators.
Office take-up for 2018 will be a record year and we consider that 2019 will have similar momentum and prove to be a strong year, with increasing number of businesses recognising the advantages of locating within Manchester.
The largest speculatively funded new build office development, Landmark (180,000sqft) on St Peter’s Square will be completed in summer 2019, to accommodate the ever-increasing demand for Grade A office space. There has been strong demand for this space in 2018 and with continual strong occupational demand from both existing and inward businesses, this will continue well into 2019/20.
Manchester was recently ranked 10th in the world as a destination for inward investment by IBM, putting us ahead of a number of some major global cities. Over the years and on several occasions, Manchester has proven to be a resilient and forward-thinking city, full of talent, energy, creativity and ambition. This approach will continue into 2019 regardless of the Brexit outcome and be for the better of the city and wider region.