Thursday 24 January 2019

Iput overcomes controversial stamp duty hike as value of assets hits €2.3bn

An artist’s impression of One Wilton, where LinkedIn has agreed to pre-let 130,000 sq ft of office space
An artist’s impression of One Wilton, where LinkedIn has agreed to pre-let 130,000 sq ft of office space
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

The net asset value of Ireland's largest unlisted property vehicle, Iput, jumped by 15.3pc over the course of 2017 to reach €2.3bn, according to the fund's latest quarterly update.

A combination of asset-management activities, including most notably the pre-letting of the offices it has under development at No 10 Molesworth Street to AIB, and further yield compression across its other prime office assets have, according to Iput, "largely negated" the impact of the increase in stamp duty from 2pc to 6pc introduced in the Budget.

Notwithstanding that hike, Iput said yesterday that the capital value of its portfolio rose by 0.3pc in the 12 months to the end of 2017.

Iput increased its rental income by €17.2m to €95m in 2017, bringing its occupancy rate to 98.1pc in the process. Agreements covering over €7m of the additional rental revenue were secured by the company in the final quarter alone.

In terms of transactional activity in the same period, Iput highlighted its acquisition of Gardner House for €63m in an off-market deal.

Commenting on the purchase of the building now serving as LinkedIn's EMEA headquarters, Iput said it now had full control of the entire Wilton Estate, an area covering a whole Dublin city block, with capacity for 600,000sq.ft of offices.

Over 20pc of that new office space has, as the Sunday Independent revealed last November, already been set aside for LinkedIn. While Iput doesn't refer to the deal in its update, LinkedIn has agreed to pre-let 130,000sq.ft at One Wilton, a 150,000sq.ft building which will be developed on the site of Fitzwilton House at Wilton Terrace.

Iput scored another coup last October when it agreed the pre-letting of the entire 10,680sqm (115,000sq.ft) office building it is developing at No 10 Molesworth Street to AIB. The bank will occupy the property on a 20-year lease at a rent of €57.50 per sq ft - a moderate discount on the €62.50 per sq ft now being commanded in Dublin's central business district.

Elsewhere, Iput reports "strong demand" for the remaining office space at The Exchange in the IFSC, with "a number of deals currently in legals". Upon completion, these long-term lettings will add €1.2m to Iput's current annual rental income, the company's update said.

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