Insights & Research

Belfast office market sees increased take-up over first half of 2023

The take-up of office space in Belfast rose by almost 50 per cent in the first six months of 2023, a commercial property report has found.

Research by leading commercial property agency CBRE NI for its Belfast Office Market Report recorded take-up of 150,047 sq ft over the period, representing a significant increase of 48 per cent on the first half of last year.

Analysis found viewing and enquiries had been strong, highlighting the resilience of the real estate market in spite of economic uncertainty.

David Wright, Office Director at CBRE NI, said:

“The first six months of 2023 proved promising not only in terms of take-up but also with total investment spend reflecting £155 million which was also higher than the first half of 2022.

“Our research also found that companies are increasingly using the office environment in a bid to retain and attract staff, so we’re predicting a flight to quality will continue in the months and years to come.”

Some notable deals over the first half of the year included Treliant leasing 8,500 sq ft at 20 Adelaide Street, Oagletree Deakins leasing 10,300 sq ft at The Cylinder Building and ISIO leasing just over 8,000 sq ft at 1 Donegall Square South.

Further findings of the report include:

  • At present, CBRE NI currently estimates that there are in excess of 300,000 sq ft of requirements plus a number of major upcoming lease events that could increase the figure if companies decide to relocate.
  • This year has seen a flight to quality with new developments in Belfast outperforming competition due to higher ESG credentials, excellent on-site amenities, sustainable features and energy efficient performance.
  • The cost of energy crisis has led companies to become more attentive to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of a building.
  • There was 1,200,000 sq ft of accommodation available at the end of H1 2023
  • Three new schemes (Olympic House, Ewart, and City Quays 3), of which are rated ‘A’ on the EPC, provide choice to the range of requirements currently in circulation.

David continued:

“Our H1 report also revealed that there has been an increased demand in properties with high ESG credentials. And with 51 per cent of deals in this quarter receiving ‘A’ or ‘B’ rating by reference to the EPC, it can be assumed that Belfast is on the right trajectory for when the new rules around minimum standards come into effect in 2030 where buildings need to be a ‘B’ rated or above.”

Please click below to see the Market Report