Busy Autumn Selling Season in Prospect in the Northern Ireland Property Market

Significant number of transactions underway and several high-profile properties being prepared to launch over coming weeks
Belfast, 1st September 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 September bi-monthly report, as we enter the traditional Autumn selling season, activity continues at pace in the Northern Ireland property market with a significant number of transactions underway and several high-profile properties being prepared to be launched over the coming weeks and months. CBRE anticipate a busy Autumn, particularly in the investment sector of the market, which experienced a very significant increase in transactional activity during the early part of 2014 as the process of deleveraging kicked off in earnest.

To view Marie Hunt, Head of Research, CBRE Ireland's YouTube video discussing the latest bi-monthly report Click here

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

According to Brian Lavery, Managing Director, CBRE Belfast,“Although activity in the occupier markets was relatively subdued during the first half of the year, there has been a discernible improvement in activity over the Summer months and with economic prospects showing signs of improvement we expect to see strong volumes of leasing and sales activity being recorded in all sectors over the coming months.

All in all, it has been a very positive Summer for the Belfast property sector, helped in no small part by the lack of disturbances during the traditional marching season and an encouraging volume of tourist-related activity across the region. The outcome of the forthcoming Scottish Independence referendum on September 18th will be closely watched in Northern Ireland on the basis that the debate on Northern Ireland being given autonomy to lower its corporate tax rate to compete with the 12.5% prevailing in the Republic may resume once a decision has been made regarding Scottish Independence.”



  • In the investment sector, there is continued appetite from a range of different types of buyers as evidenced by the strength of demand witnessed for some of the investment grade properties that been offered for sale over recent months.
  • There has also been very strong interest in the Windsor House office building on Bedford Street in Belfast, which is guiding in excess of £5 million and is due to go to best bids shortly.
  • A number of occupiers who are currently in serviced office accommodation are now exploring options to find more permanent accommodation while occupiers including Deloittes and EY have active requirements for offices. With demand increasing and little in terms of new supply in the pipeline, we have witnessed some rental growth over recent months with prime office rents in Belfast now in the order of £150 per square metre (£14 per sq. ft.).


  • Rental growth has not yet manifested in the retail sector in Belfast although a recent bidding war for the last remaining store on Arthur Street in the city (which was won by Jaeger) has pushed Zone A rents in this particular street to £1,184 - £1,238 per square metre (£110-£115 per square foot). This street is now at full occupancy, with a number of unsatisfied requirements from retailers seeking stores here.
  • Toys’R’Us have recently agreed terms for their first small format store in the CastleCourt Shopping Centre. There is also reportedly good interest from occupiers for the recently vacated accommodation at Donegall House on Donegall Place in the city.
  • Some of the more noteworthy transactions completed recently include the sale of Foyleside Shopping Centre in Derry and Forestside Shopping Centre in Belfast for £145 million and the sale of the Abbey Centre in Newtownabbey for over £64 million as part of Project Swallowtail.


  • Demand for good quality industrial accommodation remains strong although supply is quite constrained as evidenced by the strong price of more than £3.3 million achieved for the old C&C factory in East Belfast in recent weeks.


  • In the hotel sector, the sale of the Premier Inn hotel investment at Titanic Quarter Belfast for £6 million was recently completed.


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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