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MANCHESTER-Demand for quality office space in Manchester may have levelled but there is still a lack of Grade A accommodation in the development pipeline. That’s the main conclusion of a new report by international real estate advisor, Jones Lang LaSalle.

According to the Manchester Office Market Summary take-up in central Manchester over the first half of 2001 totalled 320,086 sf, 23% down on the second half of last year, but equal to the first six months of 2000,which was a record year. The report notes that while there were no major pre-lets in the city centre market, Grade A take-up rose 6% on the preceding six months.

Availability in Central Manchester stood at 1,095,145 sf, a 6% increase on the same period in the previous year. But Grade A availability continued to fall, standing at 60,000 sf, representing a decline of 33% over 12 months and 10% since the start of the year. And with only one major scheme under construction in the city centre–the 66,500-sf No 1 Marsden Street, which is due for completion in November–this figure is unlikely to rise.

Demand for office space at the mid year point stood at 2,415,600 sf, with 1,508,000 sf of new enquiries registered by Jones Lang LaSalle since the beginning of the year. Although held back by a shortage of Grade A product, prime rents stood at £23.75 ($34.64) per sf.

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