Commercial property sales return to their pre-crash levels agents report

The Obel tower, Belfast
The Obel tower, Belfast

The value of commercial property investment in Northern Ireland returned to pre-crash levels during 2014, a report from agents Savills has claimed.

The emergence of private equity in the market resulted in approximately £500m worth of commercial property deals completed by the end of the year – representing a 186 per cent increase on 2013 it said.

Retail investment accounting for 88 per cent (£440.27m) of all deals.

The firm said resilient jobs growth and positive momentum in occupational markets, particularly in the retail sector, had resulted in attractive returns for investors.

Savills Northern Ireland director Ben Turtle said he expects the trend to continue through 2015:

“One of the key drivers of investment activity has been rental growth and we expect both retail and office rents to increase this year. As a result, we see strong investor demand continuing into 2015 with £300m of assets already scheduled for sale – this time last year, that figure was £200m-£100m.”

Key investment deals carried out in 2014 included The Obel, Shane retail park and Cityside retail park, all in Belfast.