Last edited 09 Dec 2014

Irish property market - more independent market information needed

Amid unprecedented turmoil in the Irish property markets, there are still some major barriers to investment – most notably, the lack of finance. Securing debt remains the biggest stumbling block for the property market, according to a new research paper by the College of Estate Management.

But despite this, the Irish love affair with property – though severely tested – has not gone away. The research finds that the Irish commercial property market would really benefit from greater transparency, achieved through producing more independent market reports on commercial real estate in Ireland.

CEM’s study is based on two online surveys on Irish property investors’ attitudes towards investment in commercial property. One survey was carried out in 2008 and the other in 2011 to see how investors’ attitudes had changed amid the global economic crisis.

Secondary research found that market transparency in terms of transactional evidence and research in the Irish home property market is relatively opaque compared with other larger European property markets.

Currently most commercial property investment reports on the Irish market for public consumption, while helpful, cannot be viewed as impartial commentary.

The home market would greatly benefit if more independent research and accurate transactional evidence were available, to give a more complete picture of the market to both domestic and foreign investors. Such information would allow occupiers and owners to operate with greater confidence.

Survey results also indicate that over the next three years, modern, well-let city centre offices will be sought after, whereas modern suburban offices, older city centre offices, Georgian offices and retail properties in the Irish investment market will be most prone to further falls in value.

Meanwhile those Irish investors in a position to acquire international property investments will be extremely cautious, and will only be seeking modern, fully-let properties in prime locations. There is now a clear shift in preference among Irish investors to prime investments in mature Western European markets as opposed to investments in the emerging markets.

The Irish Investor’s Attitude Towards Commercial Property Investments in 2011 And Beyond by David Hourihan is published by the College of Estate Management.

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