Newcastle City Centre and other regional office centres saw 44 office deals in the first quarter of 2020 totalling 226,655 sq ft and ahead of the quarterly average for 2019 reports The Offices Group.

The highest city centre rent was £21.50 per sq ft in a 3,272 sq ft letting to Lloyds Bank at 50 Grey St. Also the 10,933 sq ft letting off £17.50 per sq ft to Cambridge Assessments at Baltic Place, Gateshead Quays was noteworthy, and in out-of-Newcastle lettings across a range of rental levels the 10,881 sq ft letting to Asset 55 at The Beam, Sunderland, off a rental tone of £17.50 per sq ft was the prominent letting.

Chris Pearson, partner, office agency at Naylors Gavin Black which together with Bradley Hall, Dunlop Heywood, Cushman Wakefield, Lambert Smith Hampton, Avison Young, Knight Frank, BNP Paribas and Sanderson Weatherall, forms The Offices Group says the spread of the 44 deals shows the breadth of activity in the market place.

“There is no doubt that the key locations both city centre and out-of-town offer a wide choice for occupiers which accounts for this positive start to 2020,” says Mr Pearson adding that there has to be an inevitable note of caution in relation to the Coronnavirus pandemic.

“At the start of the new year what was to become a pandemic was located in the Far East. Its spread across Europe and into the United Kingdom less than a month ago is a major concern for all. Most of the lettings were in place pre-pandemic so with that accelerating we are not in a position to say if the good start to 2020, in terms of office lettings activity, will continue at the same level in the short term.

“With the scale of development ongoing in Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham City we are well placed to take advantage of any amelioration in the global challenge currently being experienced.”