Challenging Times Present Opportunities For Office Occupiers

11 October 2009

The Northern Ireland office market has experienced a slow start to the year with limited transactions despite a number of active requirements both from the private and public sectors. These requirements continue to concentrate around the greater Belfast Area.

The Belfast office market will see new modern developments being finished before the end of 2009 including OBEL, The Boat, Clarence West, The Soloist and Lanyon Plaza creating c.250,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation. This injection of Grade A accommodation presents the ability to satisfy the majority of the active requirements currently in the market place.

Clarence West Offices

Whilst market conditions remain difficult, there is demand for office space, however, there still exists a degree of nervousness within both the private and public sector and a reluctance to re-locate due to economic factors irrespective of their need to do so. The current market is providing tenants with the ability to secure favourable terms at lower rents compared to 2006/2007 levels. Overall, this presents the potential occupier with lower occupational costs and therefore makes re-location or expansion more economically viable. From a capital value perspective, if potential purchasers are able to acquire office space at lower levels, this will represent good value for money.

It is important that landlords and vendors adopt a more realistic approach in today’s market. Landlords, in particular, have to become increasingly flexible in terms of lease structures as well as offering incentive packages. If they do, there is a greater likely hood of securing a tenant and more importantly a revenue flow. In these challenging times whether you are a landlord or tenant, sound advice is crucial in order to secure the best deal possible.

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