The Belgian economy should improve in 2014, following the gradual strengthening of the Eurozone economy. Unemployment is nevertheless set to slightly increase in Belgium in 2014, and to start decreasing from 2015.
In this mitigated economic context, the Brussels office market starts the year with 105,000 sq m of take-up recorded, globally in line with the five-year quarterly average. The letting of 34,000 sq m Astro Tower by Actiris accounts for a third of the Brussels office take-up. More than 120 transactions have been recorded. This figure, above the quarterly average, indicatesactivity took place in the smaller-sized offices segment.
The vacancy rate continues its slow and continuous decrease recorded since mid-2010 and stands currently at around 10.5% for the Brussels market as a whole, although huge disparities persist between office districts (from 5.5% to 21%). The speculative new supply will remain limited in 2014 but combined with the importance of committed deliveries in 2014 and the important pipeline scheduled in 2015, they could push up the vacancy rate in the next two years.
All the prime rents remain unchanged in Q1 2014. The most expensive district remains the Leopold district at EUR 275/sq m/year. The weighted average rent has decreased in Q1 due to an important share of take-up in grade B and grade C buildings and an increasing scarcity of lettings in the more recent buildings (which remain the most sought-after by the occupiers).
Source : DTZ (Groupe UGL)