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Property Times - Walloon Office Markets Q3 2016

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  • Although it underwent a decrease in Q3, regional office activity amounted to 57,000 sq m, which is exactly in line with the five-year average. In Flanders, the total was 34,000 sq m, while Wallonia recorded its best quarter since the end of 2012 with 23,000 sq m.
  • Indeed, Liège (13,000 sq m) was the most important contributor to regional office market activity thanks to deals involving the public sector. It is rare occurrence that a Walloon market leads regional office market activity.
  • Two thirds of take-up in regional markets took place in Grade C buildings, which signals that occupiers have to settle for lesser grades in several markets due to lack of concrete pipelines.
  • Some much required speculative construction is underway in Liège – a 15,000 sq m development by Ardent Group which will be delivered in 2018.
  • The prime rent remains at EUR 150/sq m/year and is present in Antwerp and Ghent as previously, although this rent has also recently been recorded in Mechelen. Namur now presents a lower prime rent. Average rents in Q3 were in the EUR 115/sq m/year to EUR 130/sq m/year bracket, in spite of the dominance of Grade C take-up.