Cork and Dublin office rents fall 33% but growth on horizon

OFFICE rental prices in Cork and Dublin plunged a third last year – some of the sharpest declines worldwide.

In Cork, annual rent levels were down 33% to €200 per square metre while in Dublin’s IFSC, rent was down 38% to €301. The highest office rent in Dublin was in the D2 and D4 districts, where rent fell 33% to €377 per square meter a year.

European rents were on average down 11%, according to the latest report from brokers Cushman & Wakefield.

In the EMEA region, which accounts for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, D2 and D4 were fourth in a list of the sharpest decline. The IFSC was sixth and Cork was eighth.

The report said rents here fell consistently in 2009, as the office market has been severely affected by the slowdown.

“Occupier demand remained low for the duration of 2009 and the outlook for 2010 is not immediately more optimistic: any anticipated recovery may be some way off,” it said.

Tokyo replaced Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive office location after rents there fell at a slower pace, according to the report. Rents for prime office buildings in Tokyo fell 21% last year, the broker said.

London’s West End was the second most expensive district.

The global recession prompted companies to lease less space, causing rents to slump across the main business districts last year, the Cushman & Wakefield report said. The last global fall in prime rents was in 2003, according to the report.

In north America, prime office rents fell an average of 8%, with Boston reporting the biggest decrease at 26%. They dropped 23% in downtown New York and 25% in London’s West End.

Global office rents will probably reach a low this year as companies in some of the recovering economies regain confidence, the broker predicted. Rental growth is already being seen in some districts, including the City of London and Oslo.

This year “will not be without its challenges and risks, but will be a year of recovery and cautious optimism for landlords and occupiers,” the report read.


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