According to fresh data from leading commercial property consultants, CBRE Ireland, the first three months of 2014 saw a total of 37 investment transactions of more than €1m in value. These had a combined value of €938.5m; over half of the €1.78bn that went on 96 such transactions in the whole of last year.
Additionally, in volume terms, there were more commercial property transactions signed in the Irish market during the first three months of this year than during the entire 12 months of 2013.
While some of 2014’s activity has included a carry-over of transactions first agreed upon in 2013, but only being completed now; Marie Hunt, CBRE Ireland’s executive director and head of research, said that total value and volume of commercial property deals will be “substantially higher” this year than in 2013 helped by economic recovery and things like RBS selling its Irish property assets and Nama selling more of its property portfolio.
“Demand in the investor sector continues at pace, with no let-up in demand from domestic and international investors for the various assets and loan portfolios being released to the market for sale.”
Virtually half of the investment properties signed off on in the first three months of this year comprised retail properties — a sector on the rise, in terms of investment, but heavily skewed in this period by the sale of a majority stake in Dublin’s Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.
In value terms, retail properties accounted for 33% of all first quarter trades, with a further 28.4% comprising office properties and mixed-use properties accounting for 34%.