NI Commercial Property Activity to Increase as we Enter the Final Straight
Activity in the Northern Ireland property market is expected to increase over the coming weeks, with up to £100million of investment transactions to sign between now and year-end, according to the latest Bi-Monthly Research Report from CBRE.
The Brexit referendum result dampened appetite for investment opportunities and changed the buyer profile from mostly UK institutions to more local high net worth individuals and UK property companies.
In total, £164.4million was invested in 23 transactions during the first nine months of 2016 – which compares with a total of over £400million invested in 43 transactions last year. In addition to a dampened appetite, this is due to smaller lot sizes being on the market compared to 2015.
However, the latter half of 2016 has still seen high-value investment deals, with Damolly Retail Park sold for £30.75million and Tower Centre, Ballymena for a value between £6million to £7million.
“Despite uncertainty in light of the June referendum, the commercial property market remains remarkably resilient. We expect to see up to £100million of transactions in the remaining months with assets such as Curry’s Sprucefield guiding £14million, Laharna Retail Park in Larne guiding £5.78million and two office buildings at Clarendon Dock guiding £4.5million.”
Office lettings have been steady, with 310,000 sq ft recorded in Belfast in the first three quarters of 2016. A recent letting of note was the 15,400 sq ft to Pearson Management Services at Millenium House on Great Victoria Street. Prime rents have now climbed to £18 per sq ft.
Mr Lavery continued:
“Activity in the occupational markets has been strong regardless of the UK economic backdrop – with office, industrial and retail occupier transactions continuing to be recorded and signs of rental growth evident in recent months. With Grade A space still scarce, refurbishment programmes will become more prominent as most space requirements in the market remain active despite the Brexit uncertainty.
“The focus for the last two months of 2016 will be to get outstanding transactions completed by year-end. There is no doubt that Brexit will continue to be a major topic for discussion in NI throughout 2017 along with the UK’s proposed plan to reduce corporation tax to 10%.”
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 (based on 2015 revenue). The Company has more than 70,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through more than 400 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.
In Ireland, with offices in Dublin and Belfast, CBRE is the country’s largest commercial real estate services company, now employing over 165 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 www.cbre.ie or www.cbre.co.uk/ni.