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McCausland Welcomes Report on NI Commercial Property Market Performance

The commercial property market in Northern Ireland is showing evidence of good and stable returns despite the economic downturn, a report by University of Ulster academics has revealed.

The finding was contained in a report produced jointly with the Investment Property Bank on the performance of the market and launched by the Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland.

Minister McCausland said: “This report is a most welcome piece of research; uncommonly it bucks the trend of gloomy economic news.

“It highlights a number of indicators of the investment potential of Northern Ireland as a region and Belfast as a city over the medium-long term investment period.”

The review concluded that despite the most pronounced real estate recession in the history of the commercial property market in Northern Ireland, there was now objective evidence of good and stable returns on property investment here.

The DSD Minister continued: “In terms of my Department’s regeneration remit, the report will be critical to facilitating the ‘opening up’ of land development opportunities, within both the public and private sectors.

“It does this by providing an evidence base to promote economic expansion as well as informing the development of a more sustainable and balanced economic platform.”

The report was developed by the University of Ulster in association with Investment Property Databank (IPD).

The University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Alastair Adair said: “The University of Ulster’s Real Estate Initiative is delighted to spearhead the publication of the Northern Ireland Commercial Property Report in partnership with IPD, the Departmentfor Social Development, Belfast City Council and leading commercial property advisers.

“The report highlights the resilience of commercial property performance in the Province, aids transparency of the market and gives Northern Ireland a more competitive edge in attracting institutional investment to our urban areas.

“The report also demonstrates the commitment of the University of Ulster to strengthen and sustain the economic, social and business life of the Province for the benefit of all our citizens.”

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Gavin Robinson, also welcomed the publication of the report which he said provided robust evidence for promoting investment opportunities within the Belfast market.

Mr Robinson argued: “It highlights very positive messages, one of the most salient being that Belfast is attractive for new investors looking at Northern Ireland property as a long term investment option.

“Belfast City Council has secured all party agreement on our £150 million city wide Investment Programme which contains plans to stimulate the local economy and improve lives and opportunities for everyone in the city.

“This report provides an evidence base to promote economic expansion and social mobility offering international investors the right information to make informed investment decisions.

“Belfast will become a super connected broadband city by 2015 and Belfast City Council want to ensure that Belfast stays on course for a better and successful future, one worthy of the talent, energy and resilience of its people.”

Notes to editors:

News Media enquiries to DSD Information Office on 028 9082 9078. Out of Office contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned

The Northern Ireland Commercial Property Market Report has been produced by the University of Ulster in association with Investment Property Databank (IPD).

IPD is an independent body that provides performance and risk analysis on real estate for investors, managers, real estate investment trusts, lenders and advisors.

The total cost of the project was £40,800 with DSD contributing £12k and the balance of £28,800 secured by the University of Ulster from Belfast City Council (£12k) and the private sector (£16.8k).

The review can be downloaded from the IPD website (www1.ipd.com) or by emailing m.haran@ulster.ac.uk

Caption (l to r): - Professor Jim Berry, Professor in Urban Planning & Property Development; Professor Alastair Adair PVC (Development) & Provost (Jordanstown & Belfast); Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland; Dr Martin Haran, Senior Research Fellow (Real Estate); Professor Stanley McGreal, Director of the Built Environment Research Institute