Remarkable Year for Northern Irish Property Market
Speaking at the launch of the CBRE Outlook 2015 Annual Report at Belfast’s Merchant Hotel, Brian Lavery, Managing Director at CBRE Northern Ireland said:
“2014 was a remarkable year for the real estate market in Northern Ireland with the volume of transactions in the investment sector exceeding expectations – in fact there were almost £500 million of investment sales completed in Northern Ireland during 2014 – up threefold on the previous year”.
Outlining the optimistic outlook for commercial real estate for the province, MR Lavery said that there was a large degree of investment across the board in the hotel, retail and office sectors. However with regard to top quality office space, Mr. Lavery maintained that supply may remain an issue for 2015, particularly as demand for commercial real estate increases throughout the year due to several substantial job announcements made in 2014.
In terms of continued investment and demand for commercial real estate, the recently devolved capacity of the Northern Irish Assembly to set their own corporation tax may have a substantial impact of the levels of commercial real estate activity in the future. However, given that the rate of corporation tax in the Republic of Ireland currently stands at 12.5%, as opposed to 21% in Northern Ireland, it remains to be seen exactly how this newly devolved power will affect investment potential.
With regard to the residential real estate market in Northern Ireland, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors estimated that house prices would rise 4% in the province, beating the expected market average for the UK as a whole which it estimated would rise only 3%. Generally, it is to be expected that both residential and commercial property investors will have a keen interest in Northern Ireland in 2015.