Busier Second Half Anticipated in the Northern Ireland Commercial Property Sector

Transactional activity expected to increase in the second half of 2014
Belfast, 1st July 2014 – Commercial property consultants CBRE today released their latest bi-monthly analysis of trends in each sector of the Northern Irish commercial property market. According to their July bi-monthly report, there has been an increase in transactional activity across the Province following the completion of the Project Eagle transaction with several notable transactions completing as the commercial property sector in Northern Ireland moves into recovery mode.

To view Marie Hunt, Head of Research, CBRE Ireland discuss the latest bi-monthly research report Click here

Please see link further below to download a pdf copy of the full July 2014 Bi-Monthly Research Report.

According to Brian Lavery, Managing Director, CBRE Belfast, “We are definitely seeing a greater depth of buyers in the Northern Ireland market, including many new US investors. However, there is a level of frustration from potential investors at the scarcity of investment opportunities available for sale in the region."

“We have been disappointed with the lack of large transactions completing in the occupier markets, due to some extent to the lack of good quality office accommodation in prime locations, which is in in contrast to the retail sector which has seen an increase in activity with a number of new entrants to the Belfast market. If much-needed stock is released for sale to meet the growing demand, we fully anticipate the latter half of 2014 being incredibly active as we work to meet investor demand.”


  • There is clear evidence of a greater depth of buyers in the Northern Ireland investment market over recent months, including many new US investors, many of whom are frustrated at the scarcity of prime investment opportunities coming available for sale in the region.
  • Prime yields in Northern Ireland have contracted over the last few months due to the weight of money chasing property in the region and are expected to trend stronger over the course of the coming months.
  • Although there are a large number of active requirements for office accommodation in Belfast it is taking some time for this demand to translate into lettings. To some extent, this can be attributed to a lack of supply of good quality office accommodation in prime locations.
  • Prime office rents are currently in the order of £145 per square metre (£13.50 per square foot).


  • There has been considerable activity in the retail sector in Northern Ireland over recent months although most of this activity has been focussed on Belfast. There is now upward pressure on rental values in some core locations such as Arthur Street in Belfast. Simply Be and Jacamo are to open a new store next month in Belfast’s CastleCourt Shopping Centre in the unit formerly occupied by Republic.
  • Meanwhile, Karen Millen have relocated from Donegall Square to a new store at Victoria Square where Fatface have acquired additional accommodation and Mango are currently fitting out a new store. Starbucks are in expansion mode and have agreed a number of transactions in the Greater Belfast area while Dr Martens have opened a new store at Cornmarket. Wetherspoons have reportedly purchased the former JJB store next to CastleCourt Shopping Centre on Royal Avenue in Belfast close to where the new University of Ulster campus is under development. Other recent store openings in Belfast include Bravissimo/Pepperberry and Joules.


  • Despite appetite from a range of companies wishing to expand or relocate, there is very little choice in the industrial sector of the market with strong demand evident for any of the go



  • In the hotel sector, there is strong interest in the Tower Hotel in Derry, which has recently come to the market guiding £3.75 million.



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CBRE Group, Inc. ((NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2013 revenue). The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through approximately 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at

In Ireland, with offices in Dublin and Belfast, CBRE is the country’s largest commercial real estate services company, now employing over 130 employees and offering a full range of property services including property sales and acquisitions, leasing and management, investment, corporate services, debt advisory, project management, consultancy, valuations and research. Please visit our website at or