Belfast Telegraph

Office take-up in Belfast market 'to improve in coming months'

By John Mulgrew

The Belfast office market “remains robust” despite just 14 deals taking place in the first half of the year, it's been claimed.

According to commercial property firm CBRE, there remains a large number of leases and sales going through legals, which are expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

A number of large-scale deals have been made in the latest six months. This includes HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which formally signed an agreement to lease the currently under-construction Erskine House in Belfast for 25 years. The new site will accommodate 1,600 full-time employees.

Other lettings include Grant Thornton moving into the Danske Bank building at Donegall Square West, while Linen Loft on Adelaide Street welcomed Spence & Partners.

“We expect take-up in the remainder of 2017 to be very active as a surge of transactions are set to complete,” David Wright, director at CBRE said.

“The market should also be well placed for future investment as a result of the recent deal agreed between the Conservative Party and the DUP, with a significant portion of the additional funding due to be spent on infrastructure projects.

“While appearing relatively quiet on the face of it, the Belfast office market has remained robust during the first six months of the year with a large number of deals in legals.

“There has also been a number of major announcements from a range of foreign director investment companies through Invest NI, which will translate into future office transactions in the coming months.”

A number of office developments have been earmarked for Belfast. These include the Richland Group’s proposed £65m office scheme at the site of the Movie House on the Dublin Road. Also, City Quays 2, the latest phase of the Belfast Harbour development will see UTV and Tullet Prebon move in next year.

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