Killymeal House in Belfast sold for double price paid to Nama ten years ago

Killymeal House in Belfast's Gasworks.
Killymeal House in Belfast's Gasworks. Killymeal House in Belfast's Gasworks.

A BELFAST office building has been sold for double the price paid to the Irish Government’s National Asset Management Agency (Nama) ten years ago.

Killymeal House in the city’s Gasworks business estate was sold for £6.1 million in the second quarter of 2022, according to a new report from CBRE.

It comes a decade after Nama disposed of the asset for a reported £3.1m.

Built by the Dungannon-based Jermon group in 2008, the Department of Finance (DoF) took out a long-term lease the following year.

But the Jermon group, owned by Peter and Jacqueline Dolan hit financial difficulties with Anglo Irish Bank appointing a receiver to Killymeal House in June 2010.

The property group eventually collapsed in 2011 with borrowings of £190m from several banks.

Killinchy-based JM & JT Partnership reportedly paid £3.1m for the asset in 2010.

Belfast-based commercial real estate firm Finch confirmed it acquired Killymeal House for a private investor in April 2022.

But the value of the deal was not disclosed at the time.

Finch said the 27,000 sq ft buildings remains fully let to DoF.

The deal was listed among the north's biggest commercial property transactions of the second quarter (Q2) of 2022.

CBRE said £44m of commercial property deals were done in the three months, more than double the £21m recorded in 2021.

But it was well down on the £60m recorded in the same quarter in 2019.

The Derry-based Martin Property Group was behind two of the other big Q2 deals.

It paid £5.7m for Ross's Court and secured Marlborough House for an undisclosed sum. Both are located in Belfast city centre.

The Belfast properties joined a deep portfolio of Martin assets that include the Richmond Shopping Centre in Derry and Blackstaff House and Danesfort in Belfast.

Ross's Court in Belfast.
Ross's Court in Belfast. Ross's Court in Belfast.

CBRE said by the end of the second quarter, the largest investment sector in the north during 2022 had been retail followed by the office sector.

The property firm said more than £40m of commercial deals have already been agreed for Q3, with around £115m being prepared for the market.

CBRE said 77,610 sq ft of office space was taken in Belfast in Q2, a 214 per cent rise on Q1, but still below the rolling five-year average.

The real estate specialist said it expects a busier market in the rest of 2022 as firms adjust to the change in official guidance on working from home.

CBRE NI managing director Brian Lavery said the local commercial property market had remained busy over the last three months “despite a number of headwinds”.

“Commercial property is often used as a hedge against inflation, and this will give the investment market a boost as inflationary pressures continue to rise across the UK and Ireland," he said.

“This is proven by the investment market activity in Northern Ireland and indeed the preparation for sale of several substantial assets which will come to the market in the third quarter.”

CBRE said demand for industrial and logistics space remains strong in the north, but it said a lack of accommodation is tempering activity.

Countering that demand is the beginning of speculative development of warehouse space, as exampled in Duncrue Street, Belfast, where approximately 100,000 sq ft of space is due for completion in August/September 2022.