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Almost £150m invested in NI commercial property in the first half of year

Tally already surpasses £136m spent in 2020

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Belfast's Linen Quarter includes many office blocks

Belfast's Linen Quarter includes many office blocks

Belfast's Linen Quarter includes many office blocks

Investment in commercial property so far this year has already surpassed 2020’s tally by hitting nearly £150m in the first six months, according to a report today. 

Investors have shelled out £147m for assets from the all-new office block at Merchant Square to retail parks.

That compares to a total of £136m for 2020 when much business activity was stalled in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gavin Elliott, senior director at capital markets at CBRE NI, which compiled the report, said: “Given that we have already secured more than the 2020 investment total in H1 alone, we are expecting that transaction volumes will double by the end of 2021.

“While real estate on the whole is not immune from wider economic and market forces, as an asset class it continues to offer relatively stable income and capital appreciation, which is attractive to investors at this time, especially given the current low interest rate environment.”

At £87m, the sale of Merchant Square by developer Oakland Holdings to a Middle Eastern fund was the biggest-ever office deal in Northern Ireland.
Retail parks have been a big draw to investors, with Balloo Retail Park in Bangor to Supermarket Income REIT for £24.8m.

However, Ballymena’s Fairhill Shopping Centre is understood to have fetched less than the £10m asking price in its sale to NI firm Magell six years after selling for £46.5m.

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Gavin Elliott, CBRE NI

Gavin Elliott, CBRE NI

Gavin Elliott, CBRE NI

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