Corporate real estate booming in Brussels

A decade after the financial crisis corporate real estate in Brussels is experiencing something of a boom. The Brussels regional news platform Bruzz reports that the percentage of percentage of office space that is empty in the 19 municipalities that make up the Brussels Capital Region has fallen to 7.6%. In some areas that are particular favoured by companies and public bodies as office locations such as the Louizalaan and the area around Brussels North Railway Station the percentage of office floor space that is unoccupied is just 3.3%.          

However, the relatively high occupancy rate has in part come about as some older officers have been put to other, mainly residential, uses. There is currently 10% less office floor space available in Brussels than was the case a decade ago.

The office space that remains is let or sold quickly. According to figures from the corporate real estate agent Jones Lang LaSalle 347,000 m² of office space was let or built during the first half of the year, a rise of 120% compared with the same period last year.

A 7.6% the percentage of office space that is empty in Brussels is at its lowest level since 2002. For the first time in two decades there is less than 1,000,000 m² of office space empty in the capital.     

Supply and demand

The increased demand for office space has served to push up prices. Currently those rented offices in the higher price category pay an average of 254 euro/m²/annum.

The rise in rents has served to encourage companies that own office blocks to invest in their properties. A number of renovated office buildings have come onto the market.

The market for those wishing to buy offices is also buoyant with real estate companies reporting a 5% rise in sales during the first 6 months of this year.