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Builders spend €260m buying 36 Dublin sites despite cost inflation

Two deals accounted for almost half of the figure, with the most valuable of those Glenveagh’s sale of 5.2 acres at 1-4 East Road in Dublin 3

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The development land market in the greater Dublin area performed reasonably well

The development land market in the greater Dublin area performed reasonably well

The development land market in the greater Dublin area performed reasonably well

Prices for development land are falling and the pace of their decline has accelerated due to the combination of construction cost inflation and borrowing costs. This is the view of Cathal Daughton, director of estate agent Lisney, who says some developers and their financial backers are pausing projects because of rising costs.

However, he says the development land market in the greater Dublin area (GDA) performed reasonably well in the first half of this year with 36 deals valued at a total of more than €260m.

“Demand is evident for good quality, well-located, ready-to-go sites,” Mr Daughton said.

Two deals accounted for almost half of the €260m turnover and the most valuable of those was Glenveagh’s sale of 5.2 acres at 1-4 East Road in Dublin 3. It was acquired by Eagle Street Partners Group, headed by the late Justin Bickle, for over €60m. The site came with full planning permission for 554 apartments with office/enterprise, retail and a crèche.

IPUT paid the second highest price, buying 118 acres with commercial potential at Killamonan Business Park in west Dublin for over €50m. It is adjacent to the 64-acre Cherryhound site on the M2 where IPUT intends to develop a distribution park.

Most of the deals were in the sub-€5m lot size category with 24 sales accounting for approximately 22pc of the total turnover. Three other lots sold for more than €10m each.

The shortage of logistics and industrial accommodation caused an upsurge in demand for industrial zoned land and consequently these lands in north Dublin saw prices more than double from around €100,000 per acre three years ago to about €450,000 per acre in the first half of this year.

“However because of the recent slowdown in investment this sector too will see land prices soften,” Mr Daughton says.

But demand in Dublin has also seen pubs sold for redevelopment and in the first half of the year these included: Walkinstown House and The Kestrell Inn in Walkinstown, The Red Parrot on Dorset St, and McEvoy’s in Newcastle.

Some older office buildings also sold for redevelopment.

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