2014 momentum sees €923m sales

by Gazette Reporter
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SOME €923m worth of Irish investment property was sold in the first quarter of 2015, much of which was achieved with two large portfolio sales worth more than €200m.

This includes Project Molly, which includes Iveagh Court, Dublin 2; The Watermarque Building, Dublin 4; and Marsh House, Dublin 2, sold by Lonestar estate agents for €350m.
The second-largest transaction was the sale of the trophy NAMA assets, Block 4 and 5 Grand Canal Square, which was sold for €233m.
Overall, 95% of transactions were for Dublin assets, 93% of which was in the offices sector, followed by retail and mixed-use sales.
Hannah Dwyer, head of research at Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) Estate Agents, said: “It is positive to see the momentum of 2014 continue into the beginning of 2015.
“Whereas 2014 was the year of the portfolio sale, Q1 has only seen two large portfolio transactions, with the rest of activity dominated by single-asset sales.
“We do, however, expect this to change in the next three quarters with a number of portfolios due for release.”
She went on to say that first quarter activity has been strong, and further confidence for the sector can be taken from the level of pre-sale activity that has taken place in the market in the past three months.
She said: “It is expected that these assets will be brought to the market in the short-term, and will further boost total volumes for investments. We are forecasting that total volumes by the year-end could achieve in excess of €3bn,” she said.
Overseas investor activity has led the market this quarter, accounting for 80% of total volumes. This was boosted by the fact that the top three purchases, totalling €675m, were all made by overseas purchasers.
Dwyer said: “It is notable that a significant number of these players are new to the market and are core-style investors rather than just the opportunistic funds [buyers], which have dominated the market recently.
“On the domestic side, Hibernia REIT, IPUT, Irish Life and Davy have all been active, plus a number of private Irish investors on smaller lot-size deals.”

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