Is Belfast In Danger Of Running Out Of Grade A Office Accommodation?

Belfast, 19th April 2011 – Property consultants CB Richard Ellis, who compile detailed statistics on the office market in Belfast, today claimed that Belfast is in danger of running out of Grade A office accommodation in the near future. Despite the high level of vacancy of second-hand office buildings in the Belfast office market, David Wright at CB Richard Ellis, who is currently handling requirements for more than 100,000 square foot of new office accommodation on behalf of a number of international occupiers, said that there is a severe shortage of Grade A office accommodation in the city. According to Wright, “There are a number of office transactions in legals in Belfast at present. When these deals are signed, this will leave only two Grade A buildings in the city capable of housing large requirements, which is concerning considering that a proposed cut in corporation tax could lead to a surge in demand for office accommodation in the city in the near future”.

According to CBRE research, at the beginning of 2011, Belfast had just under 400,000 sq ft of Grade A space available. However, if you factor in recent announcements from Allen & Overy and Citi Group which between them will occupy as much as 90,000 sq ft of this accommodation, you can see that availability of Grade A accommodation is dwindling. CB Richard Ellis say they are aware of another 250,000 sq ft of requirements which if fulfilled will see Belfast running out of new office buildings within the next 18 months.

The property consultants say that almost 470,000 square feet of office accommodation in Belfast is currently awaiting a planning decision while almost 2.2 million square feet of office accommodation has achieved planning permission but has not yet gone on site. According to David Wright “The scale of potential office development is very apparent when you consider the 39 schemes that could potentially come on stream in Belfast. However, the reality is that many of the schemes that have achieved planning permission are unlikely to be developed, certainly not in the short to medium term, due to ongoing funding difficulties. In the meantime, we are fast approaching a point where Belfast is likely to run out of Grade A office buildings – just at a time when cheaper occupation costs and lower wage rates and house prices are serving to attract international occupiers”.

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CONTACT: David Wright, CB Richard Ellis, david.wright@cbre.com

About CB Richard Ellis
CB Richard Ellis 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 firm (in terms of 2010 revenue). The Company has approximately 31,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 300 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CB Richard Ellis 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 Web site at www.cbre.com

In Ireland, with offices in Dublin and Belfast, CB Richard Ellis is the country’s largest commercial real estate services company, now employing over 140 employees and offering a full range of property services including property sales and acquisitions, leasing and management, investment, corporate services, project management, consultancy, valuations and research. CB Richard Ellis Ireland has been listed among the Best Workplaces in Ireland, 2011, for the seventh year running. Please visit our website at www.cbre.ie or www.cbre.ie/ni