2019 was a record year for the business property market in Brussels, business property consultancy Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) reveals.
The business occupancy rate is at its highest level since 2007 and availability is at a historically low level in the “central business district (CBD),” among others.
The vacancy rate is estimated to be 7.2% (compared to 7.8% last year), the lowest since 2001.
The vacancy rate is at an all-time low of 2.9% in the Pentagone, North, European and Louise quarters, compared to 3.8% in 2018.
2019 also saw the return of larger transactions: 9 transactions were over 10,000 squared metres and the average size of transactions has almost doubled to 1,991 square metres.
The three big “takers” in 2019 were public authorities: the Flemish communal authorities with 70,000 square metres via the ZIN project (North quarter), the Brussels-Capital regional authorities with 41,000 square metres via the Silver project (North quarter) and the European Commission is about to rent 30,000 square metres in ‘The One’ tower (European quarter).
Private companies like PwC, FedEx and Delhaize also rented large properties.
“However, there has been one consistent trend in Brussels over the last few years: there are no new properties coming onto the market,” says JLL.
“Despite the government’s good intentions, the regional tax and mobility policy is still not very attractive to big businesses,” the consultancy bureau said.