Economy driving Dublin office market recovery

Taylor Scott International News

Strong economic fundamentals are set to drive continued recovery in the Dublin office market in 2015, according to a new analysis. Overall the performance of Dublin’s office investment market will be increasingly linked to ongoing economic performance rather than dramatic change in capital market expectations, says the report from Knight Frank. It predicts that rents will grow to between €55 and €57.50 per square foot in 2015 and political risk is the greatest cause for investment uncertainty in 2015. However, the critically low availability of prime city centre space will induce increased take-up in the suburbs this year and the rise of the concept of the Global City will play an ever increasing relevance for Dublin in 2015 and beyond. Office take-up reached 2.48 million square feet in 2014, a 28% increase on 2013 and the highest level seen since 2007. An increase in the number of deals was the main driver of the increase in take-up with 228 agreed over the course of the year, compared to 190 in 2013. The Dublin market is now dominated by the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sector which accounted for four of the five top deals and for approximately half of take-up in 2014. Tenant demand continues to be concentrated in the city centre and with a Dublin wide vacancy in the order of 12.9%, the suburban market was disproportionately affected by the economic downturn, although the critically low availability of prime city centre space will induce increased take-up in the suburbs in 2015, the report explains. It points out that this should help build on the recent recovery of suburban rents to levels in excess of €20 per square foot, up from €12 to €15 per square foot at the bottom of the market. The lack of new office supply, combined with strong occupier demand, has put severe upward pressure on prime city centre rents in 2014, increasing from €35 per square foot to €47.50 per square foot over the course of the year. ‘We expect the pace of rental growth to moderate somewhat with rents forecast to be between €55 and €57.50 by year’s end which would represent a year on year growth of at least 16% in 2015, down from the 36% witnessed in 2014,’ the report says. Further speculative office development is due to come on stream in the second half of 2016. ‘Due to the lack of supply coming on stream in the short term, it is likely that a significant amount of pent-up demand will have emerged by then, providing plenty of scope for further development potential,’ the report adds. ‘Dublin has a compelling global identity that has allowed it to punch above its weight on the global stage, enabling it to successfully pivot to the world’s leading companies. With the continued rise in importance of the concept of the Global City, the global challenges and opportunities that face the Dublin office market have never been greater,’ the report says. ‘With… Continue reading →

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