'Mega deals' the dominant trend as €3.6bn invested in Irish commercial property in 2018

Over €3.6bn was invested in Irish commercial property in 2018, with the sale of Heuston South Quarter for €175m the largest single transaction.

According to a report from BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland (BNPPRE), the Irish property investment market exceeded expectations and last year became the fourth strongest year on record in terms of spend.

Managing Director and Head of Investment at BNPPRE Kenneth Rouse said that ‘mega deals’ remained a dominant trend in 2018, which highlights confidence in the market particularly from international investors.

The BNPRE report shows that eleven of these deals, worth over €100m, in comparison with just four in 2017.

Some 50pc of the top 10 transactions last year were offices – the top performing sector again – with €1.5bn across 79 deals accounting for 42pc of total turnover.

Residential represented the second most dominant asset class with €1.1bn invested across 37 deals for 31pc of total turnover, with three out of the top 10 transactions private rented sector (PRS) investments

The sale of 372 apartments currently under construction in Clongriffin, sold to Tristan Capital Partners for €140m, is the largest residential transaction of the year, and fifth largest transaction overall.

Meanwhile, the volume of office leasing activity recorded in the capital last year surpassed all previous records, at 372,441sqm, across 282 deals.

Facebook’s pre-let of 80,826sqm at the former AIB Bankcentre in Ballsbridge was the largest office deal in the State’s history, 22pc of total take-up last year, while WeWork took 31,905sqm in four different locations.

The growth in take-up among serviced office providers has driven this sector into second place for 2018, representing 12pc of overall take-up, compared with just 5pc in 2017.

Mr Rouse said that TMT companies (technology, media and telecommunications) remain the most dominant and active real estate occupier groups.

“TMT businesses like Facebook and Google accounted for 50pc of total office take-up in Dublin in 2018, and there is no sign of a slowdown in demand, with the market likely to be dominated by expanding occupiers, looking for additional space again this year,” he said.

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