Property still offers value, says Hibernia
Commercial property prices in Dublin are getting "very competitive" but there is still value in the market, according to the head of one of the biggest investors in the country.
Hibernia REIT chief executive Kevin Nowlan said that while the market for offices that did not need any improvements had risen sharply, he believes there is still significant value to be had for assets that require refurbishment or some other form of improvement.
"The Dublin market is very strrong but you have to remember that it is a European city competing with the likes of London for investment.
"Dublin's competition isn't regional cities like Manchester or whatever, it is the main cities in Europe," he said.
Mr Nowlan was speaking after his company's annual general meeting in Dublin.
In an interim management statement released to coincide with the AGM, Hibernia said it had completed the fit-out of its Wyckham Point apartments in Dundrum well ahead of schedule, while it has completed demolition works at its site on Windmill Lane.
A building contractor is expected to be appointed shortly. Hibernia is seeking to build a large office block on the site.
The firm has also begun refurbishing its Commerzbank House office block in the IFSC.
Mr Nowlan said the firm would look to make "selective acquisitions" when the opportunities presented themselves.
"We have made a good start to the financial year, with significant progress across our development and refurbishment projects and we are on course to deliver significant new city centre office space in Dublin over the coming 36 months.
"With strong tenant demand supported by a growing Irish economy and very low vacancy rates in central Dublin, the outlook is positive.
"We are particularly excited about our development projects in the South Docks, where we expect to be one of the first to deliver significant new space by the end of 2017," he said.