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Property Times Belgium Retail Q3 2016

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  • Investment activity was strong over the third quarter of 2016 with an investment volume of 320 MEUR; the total invested volume over the first three quarters of 2016 amounts close to 680 MEUR and we expect it to reach above the one billion EUR mark for the full year 2016.
  • Further yield compressions have taken place over the year 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 in not only big but also medium-sized tickets in Belgian main streets, including portfolio deals. They compete with private professionals who also enlarge their investment scope towards larger tickets as illustrated by the acquisition of the flagship Toison d’Or in Brussels uptown by GH Group for some 180 MEUR representing the largest main street investment transaction ever in Belgium.
  • Take-up figures are progressing - especially in the out of town market - after a below average Q1 but there is a dynamic top-end of the market with some brands leaving but enough new players coming into the market.
  • Rents have been picking up slightly on AAA-locations over the last years as there is good demand for prime and flagship stores: with e-commerce progressing these high visibility shops increasingly serve an additional marketing and showroom function.
  • The new shopping centre Docks Bruxsel in Brussels just opened in October; there are more projects in the pipeline in Brussels and Wallonia than in Flanders.