Commercial property

Business real estate: The rise of electric vehicles

The rising cost of living, and in particular that of fuel, has been the main topic of conversation for many households in recent weeks, especially as the price of petrol is expected to hit £2 a liter in the next days.

So it’s no surprise that pressure is starting to mount on employers to raise wages in line with underlying inflation. National statistics show that without bonuses, workers saw an average wage increase of 4.2% in the first three months of the year, well below the 7% inflation rate recorded during this period .

The report also revealed that the unemployment rate fell to 3.7%, the lowest since 1974. With job vacancies hitting a new high of 1.3 million, that means there are more vacancies vacancies than unemployed in the UK for the first time since records began. .

However, it’s all too easy to look at snapshots of the economy with headlines like the “FTSE 100 falling back with continued inflationary pressure and weaker consumer demand” without looking at the broader picture, which shows that despite the winds opposites and current peaks and troughs in the market, the FTSE 100 index has risen 6.8% over the past 12 months.

Despite these headwinds, the local housing market continues to climb, with the Ulster University House Price Index showing the average house price in the area was £202,325, up by 9.7% compared to 2021. Terraces and townhouses saw the biggest jump, up some 13.2% on the year, while semi-detached houses climbed 7.1% and detached houses by 4.2%. Again, however, the question asked by most is whether this increase can continue.

In the commercial property market in Northern Ireland, we continue to see strong activity in certain areas. The 34,000sq ft Montgomery House office building has now been sold to a local charity for over £7m, and we are seeing continued demand for warehouse/logistics space, with rents reaching levels never seen before in our local market, for quality buildings with eave heights over 6 meters.

Retail warehousing demand from investors continues with the sale of the 18,000 square foot Pentagon retail park in Ballymena which was recently completed, and the 50,000 square foot Laganbank retail park has been put on the market. market with a price tag of £5.875 million.

The rising cost of fuel has also drawn our attention to alternative means of transport. The electric vehicle market has undergone a transformation over the past few years, with the industry growing to unprecedented levels.

In Northern Ireland alone, the growth of ultra-low emission vehicles has increased by over 82% in 2021. It is also worth noting that we have the lowest level of supply of charging devices in the UK , with 18 devices per 100,000 and the lowest level of fast charging devices in the UK at 1.2 per 100,000 population.

So it’s no surprise to see Fastned, Europe’s biggest super-fast charging company, looking for new sites in Northern Ireland. Their aim is to give EV drivers the freedom to use their vehicles without having to charge them at home and to provide fast and efficient chargers at strategic locations throughout Northern Ireland.

With fuel prices unlikely to come down in the near term, one of the side effects has been to help disrupt the traditional world of engine manufacturing and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. The new world of electric vehicle transportation will have ramifications for all types of residential and commercial properties.

Declan Flynn is Managing Director of Belfast Lisney Commercial Estate Agents.