The Belfast office market is in a healthy condition and witnessed good activity in the first half of the year, according to a new report published today by commercial property agent Lambert Smith Hampton.
The Q2 National Office Pulse report shows a total take up of 235,000 sq. ft for the first six months of the year. Highlights include lettings to Liberty IT, Citi, EY, Shopkeep, BRS Golf and PuppetLabs.
Prime office rents have risen to £17.50 per sq. ft, but still rank amongst the most competitive in the UK. Comparatively, rates were £32.50 per sq. ft in Edinburgh, £34 per sq. ft in Manchester city centre and £32.50 per sq. ft in Birmingham. With demand continuing to outstrip supply, Lambert Smith Hampton expects further rental growth over the remainder of 2016 and into 2017.
Greg Henry, associate director of agency at Lambert Smith Hampton, said: “We are expecting this activity to continue for the remainder of 2016 and into 2017 with new stock and refurbishment projects coming to completion.
“There is still in excess of 700,000 sq. ft of requirements for the Belfast market. It is still unclear what effect the Brexit decision will have going forward, however, the early signs are that long-term requirements are still moving ahead and with recent announcements of companies entering the Northern Ireland market are encouraging.”
“Tullett Prebon and Pearson Management Services are bringing a combined 450 jobs to the local area so there is still a high demand for Grade A office space. This shows FDI’s still have confidence in the market and both parties confirmed their expansion into Belfast was due to a highly educated workforce, an attractive business environment and great infrastructure,” he said.
A survey by Lambert Smith Hampton released last month, showed that Belfast was one of the cheapest locations in the UK when it came to the overall cost of business space.