High volumes of office space are being made available in cities outside London as developers respond to the increasing demand from businesses for regional city office locations.

In 2019, nearly two million square feet of office space was delivered to market and a further 4.3 million square feet is currently under construction in Belfast, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

This is according to Deloitte Real Estate’s latest crane survey series which monitors construction activity across a range of sectors including offices, residential, hotels, retail, education and student housing.

Construction activity is strong in the Northern Irish capital with a total of 26 schemes under construction or completing in 2019.

In Manchester, a total of 3619 homes were delivered during this survey period while an additional 12,357 units remain under construction. It is expected that nearly 9000 of these homes will be delivered in 2020 and this will be the highest on record since the Manchester crane survey began in 1999.

The volume of office space under construction exceeds two million square feet for the second consecutive survey.

Leeds is also breaking crane survey records with 2832 units under construction in the residential sector while an additional 2799 student accommodation rooms are also being built, again the highest in the Leeds crane survey history.

Birmingham has recorded record highs for office space delivering, in 2019, 250,000 square feet more than in any previous crane survey. Office occupier demand remains strong as over half (53%) of the 1.1 million square feet currently under construction is already let.

Pauline Biddle, managing partner regional markets at Deloitte, said: “The crane survey findings are further evidence of regional growth which supports the Government’s priority in spurring economic success in the regions”.

Education is still a big driver of construction activity in each of the cities with nearly three million square feet of learning facilities under construction. For detailed figures, see https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/press-releases/articles/regional-crane-surveys-developers-deliver-as-cities-grow.html.

Last reviewed 14 February 2020