Technology

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Dublin to overtake London as Europe's technology hub

Adrian Weckler

Published 20/02/2014|02:30

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Twitter has big Dublin base
Twitter has big Dublin base

DUBLIN is set to overtake London as Europe's information technology real estate capital, according to international property agents.

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A report from Colliers International says that Dublin's booming tech market is now pushing corporate property deals at such a pace that it is close to overtaking London's tech real estate market.

The report, which looks at commercial property development across Europe, says that the IT sector represented 30pc of office take-up in 2013 and US tech giants alone invested more than $130bn (about €95bn) into Ireland between 2008 and 2012 – the same as "in all of developing Asia".

The report also identified Ireland as the fastest growing country in Europe for data centre operators.

"The tech sector has really got Dublin through the bad times," said Paul Finucane, director at Colliers International.

"Now Dublin is hot on the heels of London for the title of Europe's Silicon Valley."

Mr Finucane said that prime city rents are currently rising at more than 25pc per annum because of the tech boom in Dublin. "There's a massive scarcity of prime office space now for big companies that want to set up in Dublin," he said.

"Any company now looking for more than 5,000 square metres of prime space in the areas that tech companies want (Dublin 2, Dublin 4) is finding very little available."

Mr Finucane said that despite this shortage, Dublin's overall tech office space has risen sharply in recent times and is now within sight of London in terms of growth.

"Tech companies are starting to reach out to other areas because they have to," he said. "Everything else they need is here.

"Tech firms are saying that Dublin offers them young and fresh talent in abundance, and the city has also proved its ability to attract talent from abroad, with 55pc of the positions in the information and communications sectors coming from abroad to work in Dublin."

Mr Finucane said that there was now an expectation that construction on new office buildings in Dublin would commence this year.

"The consensus is that we'll see a return to speculative development," he said. "We're now seeing increased rents of €40 per square foot, so it makes sense to build. We've very little large office space left in the city centre."

He also said that agencies such as NAMA were not the primary cause of a bottleneck in available commercial property in Dublin at present.

"There's a misconception that there are a lot of empty buildings sitting there for years," he said. "What's there has been coming to the market. It's just that there's not a lot of stock."

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