Office market in Northern Ireland posts strong start to year

Compare NI has taken space in the Adelaide Exchange building

THE office market in Northern Ireland has experienced its strongest ever start to the year, according to commercial property agents CBRE.

It's Office Market Report for the first quarter of 2018 recorded take-up of 270,310 square feet across 23 reported transactions.

A large proportion of the total was mopped up by US insurance giant Allstate's move into its new headquarters on the old Maysfield site, but there have also been a number of other significant deals.

They include HCL's take up of additional space at Millennium House in the city, Compare NI's move to a floor at Adelaide Exchange and Secure Broadcast leasing space on Callender Street.

David Wright, director of CBRE's director of advisory and transaction services, said: “Interest in good quality, city centre offices remains strong with a large number of requirements currently in circulation.

"There are no new-build office schemes due to be completed in 2018 and therefore the market will continue rely on refurbished stock to meet demand."

He added: “The next large-scale refurbishment to be completed will be River House on High Street in the second quarter of this year. Flexible office provider ‘Clockwise' is already signed up to the scheme with a further eight floors available to lease.”

In other developments, the developers of Merchant Square are now on-site and have started the strip-out of the 212,000 sq ft property which is scheduled for completion in early 2019.

Meanwhile, an application for the first phase of the £400m Belfast Waterside project at the former Sirocco Works has been submitted and comprises of a 250,000 sq ft office building.

Mr Wright added: “We expect to record strong take up in April, May and June, given the number of deals going through the legal process.”

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