Office take-up in Leeds is on track to reach 800,000 square feet by the end of 2017, which would be 94% above the 2016 total and the busiest year on record, according to Savills.
Based on take-up in the first quarter of 2017 and with several organisations searching for space, Savills said it anticipates that full year levels will rebound from a weaker 2016 to exceed the long-term average of 550,000 square feet by 45%.
Savills said HMRC and the NHS are currently understood to be “under offer” for more than 350,000 square feet in the West End of Leeds.
Savills said the tech sector is helping to drive demand for office space in Leeds.
Examples include Google’s creation of The Digital Garage at Leeds Dock, which helps start-ups develop digital skills.
And Savills said Sky increased its presence in Leeds from about 40 to 650 employees over the last 18 months, and plans to expand further.
Savills said prime headline rents in Leeds have risen from £27.50 per square foot in 2016 to £30 today.
Paul Fairhurst, head of Savills Leeds, said: “Leeds is set to have a great year, as the investment in delivering good quality office space and improving the fabric of the city has resulted in high profile and exciting companies vying for space.
“The city centre continues to expand south and west, as a number of mixed-use schemes are being brought forward.”
Clare Bailey, associate director in the commercial research team at Savills, adds: “The differential between top Grade A office rents in Leeds and the City of London is the largest on record and may well lead to even more occupiers following the lead of companies such as Burberry by relocating their back office functions to the city.”