Latest research has revealed that the retail investment market in Northern Ireland has reduced by more than half since 2014, from £500 million to just under £250 million in 2016, predominantly due to vendor pricing expectations, rather than market fundamentals.

However according to global real estate advisor, Colliers International’s flagship Midsummer Retail Report, there will be an upturn in activity volumes as we enter the second half of 2017.

Retail investment in Northern Ireland has reduced since 2014; a year which witnessed significant bank deleveraging and thereby setting a high water mark in terms of investment activity.

The report, which gives authoritative ‎perspectives across the UK shopping scene by looking at the trends and innovations which are shaping the country's retail sector and its property market, has found that the £250 million (circa) invested last year was made up of 36 transactions.

Jonathan Millar
, Retail Director for Colliers in Belfast, commented: “The first six months of 2017 have been disappointing in terms of investment sales volumes and it would be disingenuous to blame lack of stock or poor credit availability. The reality is that there is more stock available than in the last 10 years and credit is as cheap as it has ever been.

“Although 2017 has had a disappointing start, there are currently in the region of £225 million of retail investment sales in legal’s and there is potentially over £200 million of retail investments currently available in the market including Fountain House, Belfast, for £14.25 million; and the Tesco Extra Stores in Craigavon and Newry, which have a combined asking price in the region of £50 million.”

The research also demonstrates that most of the larger end transactions and investments, which have been in legal’s over the past 6-12 months, have been predominately bought by private local investors who are unlikely to be prolific buyers of stock on an ongoing basis.

Millar continues: “Historically, institutional appetite is largely opportunity led in Northern Ireland.  Aberdeen Asset Management’s purchase of PC World at Sprucefield in Q4 2016 is proof that if the asset class, price and fundamentals suit UK institutions, they have no issue