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Property Times - Brussels Office Q3 2016

The full report

  • Belgium’s economy is expected to continue growing at a moderate pace in the coming years, with a yearly GDP growth around 1.5% in spite of recent restructurations announced in the industrial as well as the financial & insurance sectors which contribute to a strong dive of business and consumer confidence. The restructuration processes, combined with the uncertainties linked to the Brexit could have a negative impact on the Brussels office market dynamics in the short to medium term.
  • Take-up stands at 86,000 sq m this quarter, quite in line with the quarterly average. Following two dynamic quarters, activity stands at 397,000 sq m since the beginning of the year, an increase of 59% compared to same period last year. The public sector contributes to more than 50% of the activity.
  • The vacancy rate remains stable at 9.5% this quarter. Available spaces in grade A buildings continue to decrease (mainly thanks to the letting of the C de Ligne) and stand currently at 75,000 sq m. In the Central districts, the positive trend continues, the vacancy stands at its lowest level since mid-2007, around 6.4%.
  • Pipeline is relatively limited for the coming 18 months, reflecting developers’ cautiousness, with only 60,000 sq m speculative currently under construction. As available grade A surfaces should continue to decrease, there are some opportunities to develop new office schemes, should they be well located and benefit from the highest efficiency.
  • Prime rents remain globally stable on the Brussels office market. Varying from EUR 275/sq m/year in the Leopold district to EUR 140 in the Ring district. Prime rents could still slightly increase in the coming months thanks to the low level of available spaces in brand new office schemes. The weighted average rents are also stable around EUR 150/sq m/year.