Northern Ireland office market celebrates record year

The Northern Ireland office market witnessed a 100% increase in take-up during 2018, according to a recent study.

CBRE’s latest report found that the sector experienced a record year with 885,023 sq ft of take-up across 84 transactions, double the amount reported in 2017.

These included PwC’s move to Merchant Square, Northern Ireland Civil Service at 9 Lanyon Place and Allstate at Mays Meadow.

Brian Lavery, managing director at CBRE Northern Ireland, said: “During an unsettling period of political uncertainty, the local office market is an indicator of the health of the Northern Ireland economy, with the professional services and technology sectors in particular leading the way.

“Foreign direct investment in the region remains strong and indigenous technology and professional services businesses are growing as the latest office accommodation results indicate.

“We believe that Northern Ireland can capitalise on ‘north-shoring’ opportunities from London and Dublin going forward into 2019 and beyond despite Brexit dominating the landscape because of the supply of talent and the attractive costs base.”

However, the investment sector in Northern Ireland experienced a decrease in activity.

CBRE claimed that this was a knock-on effect of the ongoing local, national and international political uncertainty.

Brian added: “Larger investments proved more challenging in 2018, as the majority of investors are from outside of the region and have concerns around political issues specific to Northern Ireland.

“However, on a more positive note, we are seeing strong interest from a wide spectrum of investors for office investments in Belfast, which is being driven by growing rents and demand, combined with limited supply of high-quality accommodation.

“At present, Northern Ireland does offer a unique investment opportunity, although success will be dependent on a Brexit deal which prioritises the local business and economy.”


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