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Hotels dominate as Belfast city building boom hits 10-year high

Belfast's growth as a city is set for a bumper year as 22 new buildings including eight hotels are finished off this year, according to a report.

The Deloitte Crane Survey said hotels were the dominant property type among the 25 new building sites around the city centre, up from 19 a year earlier.

And as well as new builds, the survey reports on a growing trend towards 'heritage' projects, including the revamp of the Ormeau Baths into an entrepreneurial hub.

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation has said hotel rates are likely to come down in the city when the new hotels are finished. The city average is now £79.83.

The new venues are set to add 1,000 hotel rooms, bringing the total number to 9,500.

As well as Belfast, the Deloitte regional crane survey also monitored Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. It said all four cities had experienced a stable or increased level of property development over 2017.

And the predominance of new hotel projects in Belfast bucked the trend of the other cities, where residential development was the main form of new build.

Simon Bedford, partner and regional head at Deloitte Real Estate, said: "Across all the cities, the office sector is benefiting from serious investment as all locations sustained or significantly increased construction.

"Leeds saw a 67% increase in new schemes starting development from the previous year and similarly Belfast's office construction is up a quarter on 2016."

Overall, Mr Bedford said the crane survey reflected regional "growth and resurgence".

Belfast Telegraph