Posted on Thursday 3 May 2018 by John Mulgrew

Brian Lavery

Brian Lavery heads up CBRE's Belfast office

The commercial property sector is less worried about the impact Brexit will have on business, according to a new survey.

According to CBRE, the proportion of occupiers worried about a negative impact from the UK leaving the EU fell to 39% in 2017. That’s down from 53% in the previous year.

In the UK, levels of concern have also fallen, according to the survey.

Around 38% of UK occupiers “had significant or very significant concerns about Brexit in late 2017 compared to 65% the previous year”, it said.

“There will be substantial political noise and turbulence throughout 2018,” the report said.

“Although an agreement on withdrawal issues has taken time to secure, it is not likely to have significant impact on real estate.”

And Brian Lavery, head of CBRE’s Belfast office, said:

“Occupiers are following progress in the Brexit negotiations closely but worries about the impact on their business has eased slightly as more clarity starts to emerge about the exit deal.

“However, the survey respondents are typically large businesses with representation across many countries, which is likely to dilute their concerns.”

Around two-thirds of UK respondents who identified specific “mitigating measures” said their firms were “undertaking scenario planning while a third said they were thinking of changing their locational footprint”.

“Assuming that there is an acceptable UK-EU deal over trade in services, CBRE’s view is that financial services job relocations will in the end amount to the low tens of thousands, over a very extended period, and not just because of Brexit.”

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