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Property Times - Brussels Office Q2 2016

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  • The economic environment remains volatile in Q2, though the recovery is expected to continue in the coming years. GDP growth is on the rise, as is business confidence. Around 7,600 job creations are expected in Brussels, though the Brexit should have a negative impact on office employment.
  • Activity stands at an exceptional 204,000 sq m of take-up this quarter, thanks to several significant transactions. The public sector played a decisive role, namely with the long-awaited decisions of the European Commission and the European Parliament. As a result, activity stands close to 310,000 sq m since the start of the year.
  • The vacancy rate continues its slight downward movement. 9.3% of the office spaces are vacant in Q2, compared to 9.8% in Q1. Only 80,000 sq m of grade A office spaces are available. As occupiers are still focusing on prime spaces, we expect this amount to be absorbed in the course of the year. The vacancy rate in the Leopold is at 5.7%, its lowest level since 2007.
  • The pipeline is relatively limited for the coming 18 months. There is a window of opportunity to develop brand new and well-located office schemes in the medium term as available grade A surfaces are forecasted to disappear in the course of the year. In the longer term, the potential is huge, especially in the North district, though owners are seeking occupiers before launching constructions.
  • Some amendments of the prime rental levels have been observed in some submarkets. The most expensive district remains the Leopold district, stable at EUR 275/sq m/year. Prime rents could still slightly increase in 2016 thanks to the delivery of brand new office schemes.