Property investment activity soars
INVESTMENT activity in the property sector more than tripled here last year and is projected to top €1bn this year.
The latest research from commercial property advisers Colliers shows that investment grew to €600m last year – up from €155m in 2011.
The massive surge is attributed to increased foreign investment and an abundance of private equity, targeting prime offices with secure income as well as residential markets.
Colliers said the reduction in commercial stamp duty from 6pc to 2pc was also a factor.
Michele McGarry, Colliers international director, said 2012 was a turning point in Ireland's investment market.
"The majority of the deals making up the €600m figure completed in the final quarter as stock levels diminished," Ms McGarry said.
"Interest in secure prime assets continued to buoy values while secondary and tertiary assets have seen further declines as occupational markets remain very weak."
Colliers also said capital gains tax relief, introduced for properties bought up to the end of 2013 and held for at least seven years, helped to boost investment.
It was cited as being behind a flurry of recent deals by companies including Kennedy Wilson, Blackstone, Lone Star, CarVal, Centrebridge, Apollo, Northwood, AM Alpha, GLL, with a strong investor preference towards Dublin.
"We expect the shortage of good stock will continue to drive soaring values throughout 2013 in both the residential and office sectors, indicating investment levels could well reach €1bn by the end of 2013."