Demand for housing to drive up price of land by up to 15pc
The price of residential development land is expected to surge this year by up to 15pc in Dublin and by 11pc elsewhere, according to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI).
The forecast is contained in the SCSI's 'Annual Commercial Property Review and Outlook Report for 2017'.
The combination of the Government's recent introduction of the 'help-to-buy' scheme and the easing by the Central Bank of mortgage deposit requirements is expected to spur demand from first-time buyers.
Builders are expected to commit in greater numbers, and on a greater scale, to begin new housing developments.
This anticipated upsurge in activity is expected to drive residential land values at all levels of the market.
Average prices for residential development land in Dublin are already being propelled at the higher end of the market by aggressive bidding and speculation in relation to prime infill and brownfield sites.
In Dublin 4, two sites are leading the charge in this regard. In the case of the former St Mary's Carmelite seminary on Bloomfield Avenue in Donnybrook, an Irish hotelier is understood to be fending off competing offers from several developers including Ballymore Properties, Cairn Homes and Rohan Holdings with a bid in excess of €16m.
At some €6m above the guide price, that €16m figure equates to a price per acre of €5.17m for the 3.09 acre site.
The outcome of the bidding war could see either a 200-bedroom hotel or up to 120 high-end homes being developed.
Elsewhere in Dublin 4, the disposal by RTÉ of up to half of its 31-acre Montrose campus could easily secure in excess of €70m (over €4.6m an acre) and see the potential delivery of up to 500 new homes on the site.
While agent Savills has yet to offer the lands to the market formally, a number of the country's biggest developers are, unsurprisingly, believed to be gearing up to bid for the site.