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Boom in hotel sales as deals totalling €160m recorded

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Sheen Falls Lodge in Co Kerry

Sheen Falls Lodge in Co Kerry

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Sheen Falls Lodge in Co Kerry

Hotel deals worth almost €160m were done in Ireland last year, according to CBRE.

Speaking at a hotel conference in Dublin, the agent's head of hotels John Hughes said 33 hotels changed hands last year.

Of those, 28 of the sales were for hotels outside Dublin.

"While much of the press focus has concentrated on the sale of Dublin hotels, which is due to the high prices achieved, the reality is that the market for hotels is nationwide," he said.

Nearly half the sales – 14 – occurred in Munster, while three were in Connaught. Two others were done in Ulster. In Leinster, nine deals were done in Dublin, and another five were completed outside the capital.

A feature of the Irish hotel market in 2013 was the global origin of purchasers, with US-based buyers accounting for 50 per cent of the capital value of hotels that transacted in 2013. Purchasers for Irish hotels in 2013 also originated from the Far East, Middle East, Europe and the UK, he said.

While Irish-based buyers were more active in the purchase of hotels up to €5m, they did account for 20 of the 33 sales.

Those numbers are widely expected to go up this year, with numerous hotels expected to go on the market in 2014.

The National Asset Management Agency alone has more than 100 hotels on its portfolio and has made clear it intends to put a number of those up for sale in 2014.

Mr Hughes was speaking at the Hospitality Summit during the Hospitality Expo at the RDS Dublin. He confirmed that the profile of purchasers of Irish hotels in 2013 included existing owner operators, which accounted for 13 of the sales of hotels.

The remaining sales were to new Irish entrants, international owner operators, overseas private equity funds and international high-net-worth individuals.

The hotel market has begun to slowly return to growth after stagnating for years. Among the deals that have been done in the last year, John Malone, the biggest private landowner in the United States, paid some €37m for the Trinity Capital Hotel in Dublin, while the Clarion Hotel changed hands for €33m and was taken over by Patron Capital Asset Management.

Palladian Hotels, meanwhile, paid a reported €5m for the five-star Sheen Falls Lodge in Co Kerry.

Irish Independent