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Q4 2016 Marketbeat Belgium Retail

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  • Take-up volumes were above average in Q4, bringing the yearly volume to a 10 year high of almost 400,000 sq m (Figure 1). Reduced margins and international bankruptcies have prompted some brands to leave the market, but there have been enough newcomers replacing them; cosmetics brands are particularly active in highstreets with new brands like Kiko and NYX. The major event in Q4 was the opening of the 45,000 sq m Docks Bruxsel shopping centre, which innovates through its inspiring architecture and excellent tenant mix: it is unique in Belgium because of the mix of retail, offices, parking, cinema, leisure and an events venue.
  • A total of €510m was transacted in the retail market in Q4, taking yearly volumes for 2016 to €1,179m. There is strong demand from local as well as international institutional investors; the sale of the Médiacité shopping centre in Liège to CBRE GI for some €250m was the largest transaction of the year. Belgian REITs like Retail Estates and Ascencio were also active this quarter. Private investors continue to show good appetite for all lot sizes across all retail segments: after Toison d’Or for €180m in Q3, GH Group acquired a large property on Meir Antwerp and two in Brussels uptown this quarter for some €84mn in total. Prime yields have hardened over the year in all retail segments.