Re­gion’s of­fice mar­ket set to grow as in­vestors head North.

Yorkshire Post - Business - - NEWS - Greg Wright DEPUTY BUSI­NESS EDITOR @greg­wrightyp

YORK­SHIRE’S of­fice mar­ket is ex­pected to en­joy an­other strong year as grow­ing num­bers of in­vestors head to the North of Eng­land, ac­cord­ing to Knight Frank, the global real es­tate con­sul­tants.

Knight Frank’s prof­its in­creased by 14 per cent to £166.7m in the year ended March 31, 2018 as the firm’s for­tunes were boosted by “re­silient” global de­mand. Group turnover rose by 10 per cent to £525.9m.

Alis­tair El­liott, se­nior part­ner and group chair­man, said: “I am pleased to re­port an­other very strong set of re­sults for the group.

“Our turnover in­creased by 10 per cent in the face of volatile mar­kets and po­lit­i­cal con­di­tions around the world.

He added: “We be­lieve that this is a re­flec­tion of the suc­cess of our con­cen­tra­tion on or­ganic and strate­gic in­vest­ment in peo­ple over the past five years and is a trib­ute to the qual­ity of our teams across the globe.

“If we re­flect on our progress over the 10 years since the fi­nan­cial cri­sis, there is good rea­son to feel con­fi­dent.

“Since 2008, we have sub­stan­tially in­creased the scale, breadth and scope of our busi­ness and, recog­nis­ing the cycli­cal na­ture of our mar­kets, we have re­tained prof­its in or­der to build a strong bal­ance sheet that has no net debt.

“We think that this is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in the cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment.

“Our in­vest­ment in tech­nol­ogy con­tin­ues apace as we con­tinue to put our peo­ple and clients at the heart of what we do.

“Through our tech­nol­ogy board, we in­ves­ti­gate and adopt tech­nolo­gies that will im­prove client ser­vice and are right for our busi­ness with­out im­ped­ing on the per­sonal re­la­tion­ships, on which we re­main firmly fo­cused.”

Mr El­liott said the UK had de­liv­ered “very en­cour­ag­ing” re­sults, de­spite the on­go­ing un­cer­tainty about out­comes sur­round­ing Brexit.

All of the Knight Frank’s ser­vice lines per­formed strongly, he said.

He added: “The UK com­mer­cial mar­ket con­tin­ues to ex­pe­ri­ence mixed con­di­tions.

“The in­dus­trial sec­tor re­mains strong and is pop­u­lar with in­vestors thanks to the e-com­merce rev­o­lu­tion, while the op­po­site is true for re­tail.

“Na­tion­ally, the of­fice mar­ket is grad­u­ally im­prov­ing and the ab­sence of a Brexit-re­lated down­turn in oc­cu­pier de­mand is en­cour­ag­ing in­vestors to buy in cen­tral Lon­don.” Hen­rie West­lake, in­set, head of Knight Frank’s Leeds of­fice, said he was proud to con­trib­ute to Knight Frank’s suc­cess. He added: “The firm un­der­stands the im­por­tance of the UK’s re­gional cities and in­vests in the best pos­si­ble staff.

“I’m pleased to say our team in Leeds, across all sec­tors, is ex­cep­tion­ally strong.

“Two sig­nif­i­cant Leeds deals in which we have been heav­ily in­volved, the pre-let of 33 Welling­ton Street to Walker Mor­ris and the sale of Min­erva House for more than £20m, are ex­cel­lent ex­am­ples of the strength and buoy­ancy of the Leeds of­fice and in­vest­ment mar­ket right now.”

Mr West­lake added: “The out­look is very bright. Leeds is very well-con­nected; its re­tail of­fer is su­perb; and the qual­ity of life in the city is far su­pe­rior to Lon­don.

“There is every rea­son to be op­ti­mistic and no rea­son to think that re­cent of­fice sta­tis­tics were sim­ply a never-to-be-re­peated flash in the pan.

“With in­vestors’ money ready and wait­ing, 2019 prom­ises to be an­other ex­cit­ing and suc­cess­ful year for the Leeds of­fice mar­ket.”

The qual­ity of life in the city is far su­pe­rior to Lon­don.

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