The sale of retail assets has helped boost the value of commercial property deals in Northern Ireland to £133.7m in early 2021 - the highest quarterly total in four years.
With the successful vaccination programme introducing an air of optimism, overseas buyers set a new record for their level of interest, accounting for 65% of deals in the first three months of the year.
Commercial property agents Lambert Smith Hampton said the tally was buoyed by the £87m sale of the new Merchant Square office building in the city centre.
Its investment transactions bulletin said the biggest retail deal had been Supermarket Income REIT's purchase of Balloo Retail Park in Bangor for £24.8m from John Morgan Estates.
But smaller retail assets were also a draw, with a McDonald's drive-thru at Crescent Link Retail Park sold for £1.7m.
Deals for industrial and logistics assets were also strong, fetching £10.4m, which was nearly double the five-year quarterly average.
The biggest industrial transaction was Wallop Estates and Consolidated Property Group's £9.4m deal to buy Kilroot Business Park in Carrickfergus from Canmoor Asset Management.
Jonathan Martin, director of Lambert Smith Hampton, said: "The vaccination rollout throughout Northern Ireland is clearly having a welcome effect on the investment market here.
"Confidence is rebuilding, and we can see that in the numbers for Q1 2021. Both overseas buyers and local investors are re-engaging and this led to an extremely positive quarter.
"Going forward, with around £40m of deals agreed, Q2 is expected to remain positive - even in the face of Covid-19, which by no stretch of the imagination is over yet. Post-pandemic recovery is looking optimistic and we expect this to continue for some time."
The Merchant Square office building was constructed by property developer Oakland Holdings.
Its sale to an unidentified Middle Eastern investor was announced at the end of March.
The nine-floor building at Wellington Place had been described as a £70m investment by Oakland Holdings, led by managing director Gareth Graham.
It's already fully let to business advisory firm PwC - the biggest local office letting - but had been built speculatively by Oakland with no tenant secured in advance.
The second quarter of the year is also shaping up to be a busy period for retail sales, particularly retail parks as out-of-town shopping has emerged relatively unscathed from the pandemic.
David Samuel Properties paid £9.7m to snap up Lisnagelvin Retail Park, a deal announced last month.
And Shane Retail Park on Belfast's Boucher Road has been put on the market by its US fund owners Marathon Asset Management for over £19.7m.
Retail parks are a strong asset for resale compared to shopping centres as they have not suffered to the same extent from the loss of tenants like Arcadia Group.
Fairhill Shopping Centre in Ballymena, which now has gaps following the loss of Arcadia brands like Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton, is on the market for £10m, six years after it was bought for £46.5m.
Debenhams will also shut its anchor unit at Fairhill later this month.