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Upturn in lettings at Salford Quays

Lettings in Salford Quays have risen in the last twelve months suggesting a revival in the area’s commercial property market.  

In  the last year, Salford Quays has grown in prominence as a business district with a significant number of companies opting to take space, including the UK construction, infrastructure and design business Morgan Sindall, estate and letting agent Reeds Rains, hair salon wholesaler Aston & Fincher and one of the UK's largest providers of financial products and advice, Think Money.

Take-up for the first three quarters of 2010 showed a ‘marked improvement’ on the previous year with an average transaction size of 5,556 sq ft.  According to research, there’s now ‘a good possibility’ that take-up will break through the 100,000 sq ft barrier for the year.

Muse Developments, which developed the Anchorage complex at Salford Quays, said the area has seen a definite upturn in recent months.  Wes Erlam, development surveyor at Muse, commented: “The market here has been fairly buoyant, particularly compared to other parts of the North West.  It remains a challenging time, but it has certainly picked up in 2010. There’s been an upturn in the number of viewings and we certainly hope to convert these into lettings over the next few months.”

Conrad O’Neill is a director at Canning O’Neill, joint letting agents with King Sturge for the Anchorage. He commented: “Take-up in Salford Quays for the first three quarters of 2010 stands at around 89,000 sq ft, which is a marked improvement on the previous year as there are no large, MediaCityUK-type deals to skew the figures. The total take-up for the first three quarters of 2010 comprises 16 deals, nine of which are less than 3,000 sq ft, with an average transaction size of 5,556 sq ft.”

Erlam believes the upturn in interest could be down to the so-called ‘MediaCity Effect’.  He said: “MediaCity is definitely playing a part in attracting businesses to the area. It’s similar to the effect that Spinningfields has had in the city centre, with companies wanting to associate themselves with successful and vibrant developments.”

Another factor that makes Salford Quays a desirable location for companies is the average price of rents.  Erlam said: “The average rent in Salford Quays is around £15 per square foot.  Headline office rents in the city centre can be much higher.  This means taking space in buildings such as the Anchorage is an attractive proposition for many companies.”

The Anchorage was one of the first developments to be completed at Salford Quays, heralding the transformation of an area which is now regarded as one of the great regeneration success stories in the North West. The 23,000 sq m office development was completed in 1991 and comprises four interlinked buildings, the Gateway building and a waterside restaurant/ health club.