Five hotel sales in the first quarter point to increased activity in Ireland

Five hotels sold for a combined €13.5m
Five hotel sales in the first quarter point to increased activity in Ireland

Kenmare Hotelier John Brennan purchased the Landsdowne Hotel which is opposite his Park Hotel in Kenmare. Picture: Don MacMonagle

Five hotels were sold in Ireland in the first three months resulting in a notable increase in activity in the sector according to property analysts CBRE.

The Blarney Hotel & Golf Resort and Liss Ard Estate in Cork; the Killaloe Hotel in Clare; the Lansdowne Arms Hotel in Kerry and the Iona Hotel in Rosslare, Co. Wexford achieved a sale price of more than €13.5m between them. The five sales compared to just 10 sales for the whole of 2020.

 The Blarney Hotel has been acquired by the HSE to be run as a nursing home. Picture: Larry Cummins
The Blarney Hotel has been acquired by the HSE to be run as a nursing home. Picture: Larry Cummins

CBRE also said negotiations were well underway on several other hotel assets, which should see a number of further transactions completing over the coming months. The ten sales last year was the lowest in almost a decade.

“Encouragingly, since the fourth quarter of 2020, and supported by pricing discounts of 15% to 20% from some vendors, there has been a discernible increase in activity in the hotel sector from a transactional perspective," Dave Murray, Director in CBRE’s Hotels team said.

"Where sellers are realistic on pricing, there are opportunities to negotiate deals. In addition to the five sales completed in the first three months of 2021, there is considerable underlying activity in this sector with negotiations now well underway on several hotel assets, which should see a number of further hotel transactions completing over the coming months. Once there is transparency on pricing, we expect to see more momentum in the market - mirroring a trend last witnessed in 2012/2013”.

The Liss Ard in West Cork was sold in January for €3.5m to US investors while the former Blarney Hotel & Golf Resort was acquired by the HSE for more than €3m to be converted into a nursing home.

In February, hoteliers John and Francis Brennan confirmed they had acquired the Lansdowne Hotel in Kenmare for an undisclosed sum. The hotel is located just yards from the entrance of the flagship Kenmare Park Hotel run by the brothers.

CBRE said that until such time as the nationwide vaccination programme has been advanced, lockdown eased and international travel permitted, conditions in the hotel sector will remain compromised.

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