Ireland's investment market is coming back to life with an 'encouraging' volume of activity across all sectors since the beginning of the year, said property consultant CBRE.
CBRE said it has increased its prime rent series for office properties in Dublin for the first time in six years and expects to revise this upwards again over the coming months.
The broker also adjusted its prime yield series for some sectors due to the weight of international money chasing prime investment opportunities. The agent also reported some improvement in the availability of bank funding over recent months.
'There is a steady volume of activity in all of the occupier markets and very strong demand from investors for prime Irish real estate, to the extent that yields for prime properties have now started to show signs of improvement,' said Marie Hunt, executive director and head of Research at CBRE.
Hunt said the recent liquidation of the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation will escalate the pace and volume of deleveraging which was occurring anyway in the Irish market. 'Improving economic conditions coupled with attractive pricing and medium term rental growth prospects mean that investor demand is firmly focussed on good investment opportunities in the Irish market and we expect to see continued volumes of transactional activity both in the form of asset disposals and loan portfolio sales over the coming months.'
2013 started well in the office occupier market with a steady volume of office letting activity concluded during January and February, a number of notable transactions being negotiated at present and some new requirements emerging.
Although conditions in the retail sector remain difficult and many retailers continue to struggle with rent and rates obligations, CBRE said there is an evident improvement in activity in the retail property sector with several bidders on many of the well-located properties that are being brought to market at present.
On the investment front, much of the focus in the Irish investment market in the first two months of this year has been on preparing assets for sale and completing the sale of assets that were brought to the market late last year.
Much of the focus in recent weeks has been on loan portfolios, fuelled to some extent by NAMA's decision to bring two Irish loan portfolios to the market and the likelihood of other loan portfolios coming to the market following the liquidation of IBRC last month.