Belfast construction hits 10-year high

Report shows 25 schemes are in development with 22 scheduled for competion this year

Belfast’s busy skyline is about to get more crowded according to a new crane survey which shows the number of construction projects currently underway in the city has hit a ten year high.

The new report, compiled by Deloitte, highlights that 25 schemes are in development with 22 of those scheduled for completion this year.

The majority of these are new hotel projects, office developments and student accommodation schemes.

According to Simon Bedford, partner in the Deloitte Real Estate practice, Belfast has been enjoying a surge in tourism in recent years which is reflected in the eight hotels and an estimated 1,000 new hotel rooms that are currently being built.


Mr Bedford said there is also a significant level of new office development totalling 453,385 sq ft under construction in the city while work is also progressing on five major student accommodation schemes that will provide more than 2,000 units for students of Queen’s University and Ulster University.

In addition Deloitte is optimistic that a number of other new hotel and student accommodation projects could potentially break ground in 2018.

Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of Belfast City Council, believes the latest Deloitte report shows that investors are continuing to see good opportunities in the city.

“Tourism growth is driving new hotel building and there is still demand for Grade A office space from local and international companies.It is encouraging that the crane survey shows there are signs of growth in city centre residential development, which Belfast City Council has identified as a key future driver of the city’s economy,” Ms Wylie added.

But while some sectors are definitely flourishing the latest crane survey also suggests that the residential market saw limited growth during 2017 and the retail sector, had at best “muted growth” last year .

The Deloitte report also warns that while Belfast overall may be enjoying a period of “evolution” fears remain around what Brexit could deliver for the city

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business