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Commercial property sector 'busier than ever'

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CBRE Executive Director Marie Hunt

CBRE Executive Director Marie Hunt

CBRE Executive Director Marie Hunt

Ireland’s commercial property sector has recorded the highest quarterly return since 2006, specialists said.

Dublin also had the seventh highest volume of investment activity in the EMEA region in the first six months of the year, its first time to appear in the Top 10 ranking in eight years.

Commercial property agents, CBRE Ireland, said an 8.5pc return was achieved between April and June, including capital and rental income.

Marie Hunt, executive director, said the flow of deals in the sector has been phenomenal over recent months, with activity even continuing at pace during the summer months when the market is typically quiet.

“There has never been a busier July and August in the Irish investment market or the hotels and licensed sector of the market than experienced in 2014 with transactions being completed right throughout the summer and several portfolios and assets launched for sale in this period,” said Ms Hunt.

The ever-increasing scarcity of prime Dublin 2/4 office buildings to satisfy the current volume of occupier requirements continues to put upward pressure on rental values in the location, with rents likely to reach €484 per square metre (€45 per sq. ft.) before long.

Vacancy rates in many of the main shopping streets and retail schemes in Dublin and other cities are negligible with many retailers frustrated by the scarcity of available properties in prime locations.

July and August were also the busiest on record in the hotels and licensed sector.

But while investors remain focused on office investment opportunities, much of what will be offered for sale over the coming months is expected to include retail portfolios, CBRE said.

“A very busy autumn selling season is now in prospect, fuelled to some extent by the anticipated ending of the Capital Gains Tax waiver later this year,” Ms Hunt added.

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