Where's the commercial property market headed in 2017?

Naomi McMullan

THIS has been a year of huge surprises. And on today's Profit Margin podcast Declan Flynn from Lisney estate agents sums up 2016 as "start-stop".

He says: "It was a great start, then it slowed down. But if you look at retail, it's been strong. And if you look at the centre of Belfast, vacancy rates are down.”

He talks about the headwinds facing the property sector in 2017 and why there could be some room for a small amount optimism.

Property lawyer Ross Davidson from Davidson McDonnell Solicitors also sees some reasons to be cheerful

“I think we will see more transaction levels, especially in the office and hotel sectors," he says.

"A lot of developments are owned and controlled by funds from elsewhere. They will want to get to an end point in 2017. I think it's going to be a busier time for our commerical property market.”

Ross does make the point though that we need to do more to attract further external investors and he outlines what steps he thinks need to be taken.

One local firm that is very busy is Flint Studios. It was the only company from Northern Ireland that made it on to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

We've been talking to Jeremy Biggerstaff about the firm's core business and how it plans to expand.

:: Catch up on these and other interviews in this week's Profit Margin at

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