One-third of Dublin offices sold in deals worth €6bn since 2013

A new report from Savills on Ireland’s property investment market has revealed that 1.1 million sq m (11.84 million sq ft) of modern office space has changed hands in Dublin since the beginning of 2013 – equivalent to one-third of Dublin’s entire office stock.

The figure for the city’s Central Business District (CBD) is even higher, with the report finding that a staggering 42pc of office space has been bought and sold in the last four years alone. The total value of office investment transactions in Dublin amounted to almost €6.3bn between 2013 and 2016, according to Savills.

Some €1.5bn of office assets were sold in 2016 alone – accounting for over a third of the year’s €4.47bn investment turnover.

While 109 office assets changed ownership nationally last year, 80pc of these were located in Dublin, reflecting the still-overwhelming concentration by investors on the capital.

Of the 76 modern office sales in Dublin last year, 12 were re-trades of assets bought earlier in the economic cycle. This, according to Savills, brings to almost 30 the number of purpose-built Dublin offices that have been re-traded since the beginning of 2013.

Most of these assets are now believed to be in the hands of longer-term owners.

The biggest office transaction in terms of value in 2016 was the sale by Savills of One Spencer Dock for approximately €242m to London-based AGC Equity Partners.

“Given the nature of our economy, which is increasingly based on technology and business services, office space is a critical factor of production,” said Savills Ireland Director of Research, Dr John McCartney.

“During the economic crisis, office blocks could be picked up cheaply and this caused assets to be traded at a ferocious rate. Now that the economy is back on a strong growth trajectory, the appeal of these assets has widened and core institutions such as pension funds and REITs have become key buyers.”

Savills says while demand for income-producing property remains robust, the market created by post-crisis deleveraging is now a thing of the past. Savills believes more normalised supply levels will see investment settle back to a sustainable €2.5bn to €3.5bn per annum over the coming years.
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