Pace of Activity Continues in NI Property Market

Approximately £142.5 million has been invested in the Northern Ireland market in the first half of the year – with some of this spend attributed to new entrants to the market, according to CBRE’s latest Bi-Monthly Research Report.

At the mid-year point, commercial property activity is on course and NI is still poised for a successful second half of 2015, with £90 million worth of transactions still in the legal stages and several significant assets currently being prepared for sale.

There have recently been significant deals that represent the pace at which the market is moving. City Council purchased Clarendon House for £24.7 million, while other significant transactions include the purchase of Windsor House by the Hastings Hotel Group for £6.5 million and acquisition by the NI Executive of five office buildings in Belfast including Laganside House, Clare House, Seatem House, 2-4 Bruce St and Causeway Exchange for in excess of £25 million.

The report highlighted that NI is continuing to see new national entrants to the retail sector such as Sketchers and Patisserie Valerie. The success of the retail sector in NI is also evident through the recent sale of Erneside Shopping Centre to Tristan Capital and Ellandi for £34.25 million. The restaurant sector is seeing high demand with national operators such as Zizzi, Five Guys, Coast and Carluccios all seeking space in Belfast City Centre.

Brian Lavery, managing director, CBRE Belfast commented:

“The report has reinforced that NI’s position in commercial property for 2015 remains strong and that it will only improve with the promising second half of the year. With a number of transactions currently being finalised or in legals, the focus for the coming months is likely to be on bringing these to completion and preparations for the sales campaigns that will be launched this Autumn.

“Prime office rents are continuously rising and have now reached £15.50 per sq ft. Prime office yields are stable and provide Belfast with a competitive advantage over competing UK mainland locations. This is welcomed alongside the fact that Invest NI will support developers in providing Grade A office accommodation.”

It has been a significant few months also for the hotel sector. Transactions have been significant, with the Hastings Hotel Group redevelopment of Windsor House to start; planning permission for a 4-star hotel in the former Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices in the Titanic Quarter; and Beannchor set to develop the Lagan House office building into a new 55 room boutique hotel.

Mr Lavery continued:

“The activity in the hotel sector has been down to the current shortage of rooms in Belfast and the increase in tourism. 80,000 people recently attended the Irish Open at Royal County Down and the Tall Ships Festival this weekend is expected to draw a huge number of tourists to the city.

“Overall activity in the last few months has been strong and the work has been done to set up significant movement in H2. The new requirements activated from large corporations such as Puppetlabs and Regus also help to reinforce that Belfast remains a desirable location despite ongoing uncertainty over corporation tax.”

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 52,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 370 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 140 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