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Number of empty commercial spaces increased in 2013
According to reports, Belgium has plenty of available commercial properties to share, and the number continues to rise. At the end of 2013, there were 18,000 empty commercial buildings across the country. The latest figure marks a growing increase of one thousand properties a year. According to Locatus, a company that provides business information in the Benelux region, the national vacancy rate has moved up to 7.8% from last year’s average of 8.6%, representing a troubling trend, especially for certain regions that are having difficulty attracting new business tenants.
The highest vacancy rates are seen in Arion (13.8%), Charleroi (12.3%), and Liege (11.4%). Flanders’ district of Tongeren leads the region with 11%. This is the sixth consecutive year that vacancy rates have risen. Locatus says that while 47% of the empty units are filled in less than a year, slightly less than a quarter remain empty more than three years. The majority of available commercial buildings were those with a coffee shop.