Although still €1.5bn (£10.6bn) behind its 2014 record, Ireland is expected to see around €3.5bn (£2.4bn) worth of commercial property assets change hands this year.
According to a new survey from the global real estate services provider Savills — which describes the republic’s 2015 property market as “exceptionally strong” — almost €680m (£481m) of tenanted property was transacted across Ireland during April and June alone.
This robust end to the half year brought the six month total investment spend to over €1.7bn (£1.2bn), only marginally down on last year’s figure of €1.79bn (£1.26bn).
“While the value of investment turnover has remained relatively consistent,” explains the report, “transactional activity has increased dramatically with the number of deals tripling from 33 in the first half of 2014 to 102 in the first six months of 2015.”
Commenting on the figures, Savills director of investments Fergus O’Farrell, said: “The first six months of 2015 has been positive, not only because of the overall level of activity, but also because of the breadth and depth of market demand.
“We now have a wider and more diverse buyer pool to sustain the market with significant levels of turnover and volume,” he added.
Savills pointed out that unlike previous years, Irish Investors dominated the investment landscape by cornering almost 53 per cent of transactions. The main January to June players were Irish Life, IPUT, Davy, Green REIT and a considerable number of private Irish investors.
“It is also encouraging to see a range of new entrants coming into the Irish market,” Savills notes. These include German funds PATRIZIA, Union Invest and Real IS, all of whom made their first Irish acquisitions in 2015.
Not surprisingly, investors continued to focus on office and retail investments accounting for approximately €280m (£198m) and €259m (£183m) respectively.
And despite ongoing worries about the state of the property market outside Dublin, Savills added that more than 50 per cent of transactions during the first half of 2015 involved property way beyond the capital.
With a number of private equity investors questioning how strong the recovery is in markets outside Dublin, the latest Savills’ data — along with a similarly upbeat report from CBRE earlier this week — “suggests the recovery is very real”.