The Bristol office market has finished 2023 "on a high" with strong take up for the final quarter.

Reports from the Bristol Office Agents Society found the city centre market saw 34 deals complete in the final quarter with an average deal size of 5,682sq ft, and a quarterly take up of 193,183sq ft. This is the highest quarterly take up for the year and the highest volume of deals seen in any quarter since the first quarter of 2022. It gives a total annual take up in the city centre, for 2023, of 419,180 sq ft.

In this period tree deals in excess of 10,000sq fr completed, the largest of which was Dyson's acquisition of 66,317sq ft at 1 George’s Square. In addition to this DLUP have committed to the pre-let of 28,550sq ft at L&G’s comprehensively refurbished Neighbourhood North, and Ecosurety have purchased 10,727sq ft of space for their own occupation at Picture House.

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The reports also found headline rents in Bristol have remained stable through 2023 at £42.50psf but with space under offer at rents of £44.00 - £46.00 psf; it is expected that these will increase again through 2024.

Schemes due to PC in 2024 include, CEG’s EQ which is circa 80% pre-let or under offer, Trammell Crow and Tristan Capitals’ Welcome Building which is circa 25% under offer and AXA / Bell Hammer’s Assembly Buildings B & C which have also secured pre-lets. There are also a number of comprehensive refurbishments expected to complete through 2024 including Credit Suisse’s 3 Rivergate, Oval’s The Fairfax, M&G’s Temple Circus and CEG’s Crescent.

In addition, Bristol's out of town market also performed well in the fourth quarter with a take up figure of 74,792sq ft, bringing the annual total to 276,867sq ft. Quarter four saw 18 deals cross the line, which is the most active quarter of 2023, but with only one deal of over 10,000 sq ft the average deal size was 4,155sq ft.

The largest of these lettings was Hewlett Packard’s acquisition of 26,746sq ft at Lakeview. Q4 also saw the completion of CEG’s 1000 Aztec West, the first major new office space to be delivered for many years in the out of town market.

James Preece, office agency director at Colliers said: “Following a challenging first 9 months, it was great to see the Bristol office market bounce back in the final quarter of the year. Prime rental levels have been pushed by occupiers willing to pay more for the best-in-class sustainable office space and this trend looks set to continue in 2024. There are a number of larger deals under offer and requirements in the market, so we are expecting to see far better conditions than last year."

CSquared’s office agency director Andy Heath added: “Whilst the overall core stats for 2023 do not make good reading, we began to see the return of proper market activity in Q4 which we expect to see continuing to grow during the next 12 months. The lack of any major development commencements during the last 18 months will create an acute shortage of super prime supply in 12-24 months’ time which will lead to some interesting headline transactions. Some astute occupiers are already aware of this and are out looking in the market far ahead of when you’d expect them to start their occupational strategy for a potential relocation.”