22 December, 2008
Foreign Owned Companies look set to ensure a steady level of office demand over the next three to five years.
The Foreign Owned Company (FOC) sector is still robust in Greater Manchester despite the current economic climate, according to new research by MIDAS, Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency.
Sir Howard Bernstein said: “This report highlights the importance of MIDAS’ work in attracting and expanding both global companies and other public sector agencies into Manchester. Our joint working to secure further investment is good news for the property sector in an otherwise difficult economic period.”
The Greater Manchester Property Analysis report, commissioned to Savills by MIDAS, to analyse office supply and demand in Greater Manchester found that demand for office space from the FOC sector will remain strong over the next three years and beyond. The report also included a survey of 500 FOCs in Greater Manchester which found that:
· 92% of larger FOC occupiers felt Greater Manchester was a good or excellent place to do business.
· The average FOC in Greater Manchester is two and half years from the expiry of its current lease with 47% stating they had a break clause due in 2008, 2009 or 2010. 20% of respondents stated that they were actively looking for more commercial floorspace now.
· 40% of FOCs expect their staff numbers in Greater Manchester to grow over the next two years.
· Finance & Banking, Retail and Manufacturing businesses were the most likely to be currently looking for more space with 44% expecting to move.
· Availability of premises in Greater Manchester, availability of staff, accessibility and place to do business were all rated as good or excellent by FOCs.
North American owned businesses were the most significant in the survey with 28% of respondents stating that their business was US owned. The next largest groupings were Japanese (11%) and German (9%).
Colin Sinclair, MIDAS Chief Executive said: “It is clear from the FOC survey that the majority of Internationally-owned businesses in Greater Manchester are very satisfied with the area, with 76% of respondents stating that it was a good or excellent place to do business and 40% expecting their staff numbers in Greater Manchester to grow over the next two years.
“Demand for property is clearly linked to general macro-economic performance and even though the property market will stall in 2009 due to a slow-down in general decision making, Manchester is well positioned to prosper as the market improves in the next 12-18 months.
“London, Europe and North America remain our primary target markets and Manchester has already shown its quality and resilience with this year’s Bank of New York Mellon expansion and ongoing enquiries with a number of major global firms.”
There are 1200 Foreign Owned Companies in Greater Manchester, of which MIDAS account manages 500. Foreign Owned Companies contribute 47% to the UK economy and are regarded as being more capital intensive than UK firms.