More than 2 billion euros were invested in the Irish property market in the last quarter of 2021, bringing the total for the year to 5.5 billion euros, according to figures from real estate agent Savills Ireland.
This compares to an investment of € 3 billion in 2020 and is the second highest level on record, he said, citing “increasing clarity” on the pandemic and beneficial economic and monetary conditions.
The most significant transaction was the acquisition by Blackstone of the Serpentine consortium’s stake in Meta’s new European campus in Ballsbridge, Dublin, for 395 million euros, while KPMG’s fourth quarter pre-lease of 290 000 square feet in the Hibernian Reit development in Harcourt Square, slated for 2026, was the biggest office rental deal of the year.
“Investor appetite has been exceptionally strong throughout the year in most real estate sectors. The final quarter of 2021 was characterized by several significant transactions in the office and industrial sectors in particular, accounting for 36% and 27% of quarterly volumes respectively, ”said Kevin McMahon, divisional director of investments at Savills Ireland.
The U.S. private equity giant Blackstone’s acquisition of four buildings on the new Meta campus (formerly known as Facebook) followed strong offers from several parties, Savills said.
The transaction highlighted “the depth of capital and the confidence that international investors have in the office market” despite the uncertainty triggered by the pandemic regarding future labor practices, he added.
“The office rental market comes down to a two-half year. After a largely dormant first half of 2021, the office market has finally come to life in the last two quarters, with significant rental activity, ”said Shane Duffy, office manager at Savills Ireland.
The agency predicted that 2022 would likely see a “booming” office market with the return of workers, while the retail sector would also likely see a “more positive” year.
The final quarter of 2021 was marked by strong commercial activity in the commercial sector with the exchange of 13 assets, the largest of which was Park Collection, a portfolio of prime commercial parks sold to Marlet Property Group by Marathon Asset Management for 74 million euros.
Retail fleets have performed well during the pandemic, driven by stable demand for electrical products, furniture, food and housewares, Savills noted.
In 2021, the share of the industrial sector in investment volumes continued to grow, he added, accounting for 18% of the market. The sector’s vacancy rate in Dublin has remained at an all-time low of around 1% throughout 2021.
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