THERE are signs of improvement in the commercial property market in Ireland, according to the CB Richard Ellis Group (CBRE).
The international real estate firm today launched its latest bi-monthly assessment of conditions in the Irish commercial property market.
The report confirms that many sectors of the market are now showing positive indicators, following the biggest downturn ever experienced in the property market.
The review highlights greater levels of activity in the Dublin office market, with a number of lettings being negotiated and a growing number of requirements for accommodation being activated.
Prime office rents are stabilising but retail and industrial rents are continuing to come under downward pressure.
In addition, about €100m was invested in the Irish property investment market in the first six months of this year. This was more than twice the level of investment in the market in the whole year in 2009.
Marie Hunt, director of research at CBRE, said: "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."
According to the report, there has been an encouraging improvement in activity in the Dublin office market in recent months. In fact, when data has been compiled, take-up in the Irish capital over the last three months is likely to be higher than the almost 25,000m2 of lettings agreed in the city in Q1 2010.
CBRE say that prime rents in Dublin city centre are holding steady at approximately €376 per square metre or €35 per square foot.
However, agents say downward pressures remain for secondary accommodation, particularly around the M50 where there is a large concentration of vacant accommodation.
Despite a significant decline in the number of new schemes coming on stream, CBRE say the existing overhang of office space will be slow to erode until more net absorption is achieved.