Extensive Autumn Activity To Signal Strong H2 2016 For NI

Commercial property in Northern Ireland can expect a busy autumn selling season this year with at least £100million of investment assets due to come to the market shortly.

The latest Bi-monthly Research Report by CBRE highlights that despite the Brexit uncertainty, activity has continued in the property market with encouraging movement going into the latter half of the year.

Click here to download full report: CBRE Northern Ireland | Bi-monthly Research Report September 2016

Click here to view: CBRE Northern Ireland | Bi-Monthly September 2016 Video Commentary by Marie Hunt

H1 2016 saw positive results in the office market, with more than 230,000 sq ft of lettings being achieved and this has continued with several transactions in recent weeks. 17,650 sq ft was let to Tourism NI at Linum Chambers; 6,000 sq ft to Regus at Arnott House; and 5,500 sq ft to a global IT company, Genesys at The Linenhall. Prime rents are currently at £17.50 per sq ft and are expected to climb to £18 per sq ft by year-end.

Tullett Prebon have announced the intention to develop a new technology centre here creating 300 jobs. In addition to this, the demand for space is sitting at an encouraging 750,000 sq ft. Whilst there is little speculative development of Grade A office stock underway, many schemes have been granted planning – most notably the 215,000 sq ft of Grade A space being developed by McAleer & Rushe in Bedford Square.

Brian Lavery, Managing Director, CBRE Northern Ireland
The latest results from our research are encouraging. Buying activity for the foreseeable future will predominantly emanate from private equity and debt buyers as opposed to institutions who are still considering their appetite for Property after Brexit. There has also been an increase in the appetite of local financial institutions to lend towards real estate which will support increased private debt purchasing in the short to medium term.
Brian Lavery, Managing Director, CBRE Northern Ireland

Retail in Northern Ireland has seen positive results in July and August with shoppers from the Republic prominent due to the depreciation of the Sterling. The sector has also been boosted by several new store openings including Stradivarius on Donegall Place; The Entertainer in CastleCourt; Pandora at Cornmarket; plans for a drive-thru Starbucks at Connswater; and TK Maxx, B&M Bargains and JD Sports due to open new stores at Ards Shopping Centre later this month.

Mr Lavery continued:

“There is plenty of activity across all sectors – retail is seeing development across Belfast with Westwood Shopping Centre being redeveloped and Primark’s 40,000 sq ft extension at Castle Junction underway. In terms of hotels, Belfast currently has five projects on site with City Quays to be operated by Mariott International, and the Beannchor-led Bullitt hotel on Victoria St, notable inclusions.

“With Zone A retail space in Belfast City Centre at near maximum occupancy, the focus going forward must be on key city centre game changer schemes such as Royal Exchange and the regeneration of Royal Avenue is crucial to meeting ongoing demand from potential retail occupiers.

“Despite the uncertainty that has prevailed since the Brexit referendum the market looks set for a busy selling season between now and year end.”


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