Office Take-Up Hits New Heights For Q1 2016

City Quays 1 - now fully occupied following letting to BRS Golf

Belfast, May 1st 2016 – Office take-up in Belfast was the strongest it has been for a number of years, with more than 158,000 sq ft achieved in Belfast in Q1, according to commercial property firm CBRE.

Click here to download the full report: CBRE NI | Bi-Monthly Research Report May 2016

This figure for Q1 2016 is in stark contrast to the same period in 2015 when 52,000 sq ft was achieved, and particularly 2014 which only saw 26,500 sq ft. Office lettings for Q1 2016 were boosted by high profile deals to key occupiers that included Puppetlabs, NBC Universal, Highwire and Genpact.

Eight investment transactions totalling £55 million were signed in the Northern Ireland market in the first four months of 2016 and at least another £75 million of transactions are in legals at present. Prime yields are also stable across Northern Ireland, with prime offices continuing to trade at 6.0 per cent, prime shopping centres trading at 6.75 per cent and prime high street 5.75 per cent.

The hotel sector received another lift, with planning permission being granted for an 80 bed extension to the Jury’s Hotel and a new 188 bed hotel at City Quays Belfast. Dalata has also announced intentions to purchase a 260 bed hotel currently being developed on Brunswick Street by McAleer and Rushe for a reported £21 million.

David Wright, Director CBRE Northern Ireland
It has been a particularly strong start for 2016 in the office lettings market which is showing the most positive signs for a number of years. In addition to lettings already made; the BBC are reportedly looking for a new 100,000 sq ft headquarters and HMRC are supposedly looking for 110,000 sq ft in Belfast. Grade A space continues to be an issue, however the lack of supply is fuelling rental growth and has been driving prime rents upward in recent months, with them currently standing at £17.50 per sq ft. The investment market has seen a steady stream of activity during Q1 although market sentiment has been adversely affected by concerns surrounding the BREXIT vote on 23rd June. Assuming a pro-EU outcome we expect that market sentiment will recover quickly, we therefore anticipate greater investor activity during H2 2016 as further assets are released for sale.

David Wright, Director CBRE Northern Ireland

On the retail front, a number of new entrants will be opening stores over the coming months including The Entertainer and Inglot at CastleCourt Shopping Centre. There is high demand for out-of-town locations such as Boucher Road or Holywood Exchange where there is little or no space. Demand for the regions has also surged recently, with Superdry, Next and New Look all securing new stores.


About CBRE Group, Inc.

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 2014 revenue). The Company has more than 70,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 400 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 160 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; business rates and compulsory purchase; valuations and research. Please visit our website at or