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Property Times Belgium Retail Q2 2016

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  • Investment activity was strong over the first half of 2016 with an investment volume of 345 MEUR; we expect the total invested volume for the full year 2016 to reach way above the 1 billion EUR mark if the fair number of big deals that are in the pipeline will get fully closed.
  • Further yield compressions have taken place over H1 in most retail segments due to low interest rates and the vast amounts of capital looking for prime property.
  • International institutional investors are more and more interested, not only in big but also medium sized tickets in Belgian main streets, including portfolio deals.
  • Terrorist attacks had a temporary impact on retail turnovers, but together with growing consumer confidence, turnovers seem to be progressing again over Q2.
  • Take-up figures were below average for Q1 but were progressing over Q2 especially in the out of town market. There is a dynamic top-end of the market with some brands leaving but enough new players coming into the market.
  • Rents are picking up on AAA-locations as there is good demand for prime and flagship stores: with e-commerce progressing these high visibility shops have more and more of an additional marketing and showroom function.
  • Out of town retail schemes benefited from the upgrading of architecture and clusters of greater quality, with classical inner town brands like H&M progressing into the periphery.
  • There are more projects in the pipeline on the Brussels and Walloon side than in Flanders. Several new developments are coming to market in 2016: one new shopping centre (Docks Bruxsel in Brussels) and in the out of town segment IKEA has opened two new large shops in Hasselt and Mons over the first half this year.