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Retail rent down 50pc

RENTAL costs in Dublin's prime retail space have plummeted by as much as 50pc since peak levels during the boom years.

However, the figures released by property consultants CB Richard Ellis also indicate that there are improving levels of activity in the Dublin office market.

Yields for prime high-street retail investments have improved quarter-on-quarter from 6.5pc to 6.25pc, according to the research.

Approximately €100m was invested in the Irish property investment market in the first half of 2010, which was more than twice the level of investment in the whole year in 2009.

"Although the decline in property values in the most recent cycle was more severe than ever experienced in any other previous cycle, we have to remember that this is a 'cycle' and based on what we are now seeing on the ground in the Irish commercial property market, it is one which we are slowly starting to emerge from," said Marie Hunt, director of research at CB Richard Ellis.

Prime office rents in Dublin city centre are holding steady at approximately €375 per sqm.

Furthermore, the research said that retailers are more upbeat than they were just six months ago, but caution that the next six months will continue to be challenging and getting transactions across the line is likely to remain difficult.

The property consultants said that there have been a number of recent fire sales taking place, they recommended that pricing benchmarks should be established to assist in the accurate valuation of land.