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Belfast office space sales 'strongest in years'

By John Mulgrew

Office space take-up in Belfast at the start of 2016 is the strongest it has been for several years, according to a new report.

More than 158,000 sq ft was taken up in Belfast during the first quarter of the year, according to property firm CBRE.

And the report shows a number of new retailers are setting up here, including toy shop chain The Entertainer, and cosmetics retailer Inglot.

Both new retailers are moving in to CastleCourt in Belfast.

And according to CBRE, major public and private sector businesses are now seeking out new headquarters in Belfast, including HMRC. Eight investment transactions totalling £55m were signed in the Northern Ireland market in the first four months of 2016.

David Wright, director at CBRE, said: "It has been a particularly strong start for 2016 in the office lettings market which is showing the most positive signs for a number of years."

Mr Wright said while market sentiment in Northern Ireland has been "adversely affected by concerns surrounding the Brexit vote" he would expect it to pick up again if the UK votes to remain part of the EU.

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