£78m of Property Transactions Ready for Sign off Says Report

The north’s commercial property sector failed to sparkle in the first quarter as many investment decisions were delayed until their is more clarity around business arrangements after Brexit.

Less than £8 million of investment deals were signed off, according to CBRE Northern Ireland’s quarterly index covering January to March.

But it expects TEN times that volume of deals in the incoming quarter, and confirmed that a further £78 million of transactions are currently under offer or going through legals.

CBRE director Gavin Elliott said: “The occupational markets have been the most active during quarter one. with a limited number of investment sales completed. We’ve seen a number of investment sales launched since the start of the year including Great Northern Retail Park in Omagh (£9.25m) and Fountain House in Belfast (£14.25m).

“Our research shows that a total of £7,657,000 was invested in six separate investment transactions but expect to see a surge of investment transactions complete over the next three months.”

Recent investment transactions in Belfast include Elizabeth House, which sold for £1.21m; two Iceland investments at Newtownards Road and Antrim Road (£1.325m and £1.3m respectively) and Chancery House, which sold for £1.685m.

He added: “A trend which has continued from 2016 is the dominance of private equity firms and high net worth local investors being the most active buyers and sellers in 2017. We do also envisage a number of institutions beginning to invest in Northern Ireland, following an absence from the market last year.”

David Wright, another director at CBRE, said: “The Belfast office market received a welcome boost in quarter one, with a raft of announcements of new build schemes committing to starting on site this year to deliver grade A offices.”

Schemes announced include the £26m scheme at Titanic Quarter by Harcourt Developments and Belfast Harbour Commissioners to jointly develop Olympic House – a 148,000 sq. ft. office building.

The retail sector continues to perform well with shoppers benefitting from the sterling-euro differential, particularly the border locations, and The Quays in Newry has recently announced letting to Marks & Spencer, Next and Skechers.

Source: irishnews.com