Belfast is world's 8th fastest growing retail city

Belfast has been named as one of the fastest-growing prime retail locations in the world
Gareth McKeown

BELFAST has been named as one of the fastest-growing prime retail locations in the world according to new research from CBRE.

In its half-yearly report CBRE lists Belfast as the eighth fastest-growing location, after the city recorded an 8.7 per cent year-on-year increase in rents for prime retail in the first quarter of 2017.

Belfast has seen significant regeneration of key retail locations in recent years and these dominant locations are securing the majority of the letting activity, with food and beverage representing a significant proportion of this.

As a result, vacancy rates continue to decrease, and in key locations this will lead to the re-emergence of rental growth.

The city has also attracted many shoppers from border regions in Ireland, following the weakness of Sterling as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

As expected London secured the top spot in the CBRE figures with 39.1 per cent growth registered year-on-year in Q1 2017, while Russia’s St Petersburg claimed second place with rental growth of 15.4 per cent. Auckland in New Zealand and Bulgaria capital Sofia, took third and fourth place with 12.5 per cent respectively.

Dublin was named as the fifth fastest-growing location in the world, recording a year-on-year increase of 10.5 per cent, with the Irish retail sector remaining robust, buoyed in particular by continued job creation, strong tourist activity and demographic changes. Indeed as stated in CBRE research, Ireland’s retail sales increased by 5 per cent last year.


CBRE director Alana Coyle said it was important that Belfast continued to grow its retail offering.

“Going forward, it is important for Belfast to develop and invest in prime retail locations to meet the demand of international retailers seeking to expand into the city."

“Enhancing the retail offering in key locations such as Royal Avenue will prove to be vital in securing and delivering investment into Belfast, particularly with the planned opening of Ulster University’s new Belfast campus in 2019, which is expected to increase footfall in the city centre significantly," she added.

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