Business

Sharp increase in Belfast office lettings over summer say Savills

First Derivatives will be the anchor tenant at the Weaving Works building (formerly the Armagh House linen warehouse)

OFFICE space take-up in Belfast increased significantly over the summer, according to Savills Northern Ireland.

It says 19 transactions, totalling 91,557 sq ft, were completed in July, August and September – more than double the number in the first six months of the year (14 deals), taking the total take-up for the year to date to 257,029 sq ft.

The vast majority of occupiers (84 per cent) are favouring grade A specification and, when considered in context with concerns over Brexit's effect on the economy, 66 per cent of the take-up was as a result of expansion and 12 per cent is from new entrants into the market.

Key deals included the letting of 11,564 sq ft to broadcaster UTV at the City Quays 2 office development, while Newry-based financial software firm First Derivatives has agreed a deal to become anchor tenant at the Weaving Works building, taking 25,034 sq. ft.

Elsewhere, global serviced offices firm Regus took 7,447 sq ft at The Lincoln Building on Great Victoria Street, while communications software firm Metaswitch will occupy 5,500 sq ft at the Flax Building on Adelaide Street.

“The occupier market in Belfast remains healthy post Brexit, with office take up in 2016 some 35 per cent ahead of the five-year average," said Simon McEvoy of Savills NI.

"This year is expected set new records and exceed 2016's take-up. Behind this there is also a very healthy 750,000 sq ft of demand, predominately for grade A offices, though with less than 200,000 sq ft of current grade A availability, it's time to start the supply of new developments to meet this demand.”

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