The Dublin office-letting market has had a slow start in the first three months of this year, with lettings down by at least 50% on the same quarter in 2011.
Estate agents Lisney said that while take up of space in Q1 was only 22,900sq m (246,494sq ft) compared to 54,500sq m (586,633sq ft) last year, it still believed that 2012 would bring an increased level of activity on the previous 12 months.
Lisney argued that the figures did not tell the full story as one deal in the first quarter of 2011 – Google’s purchase of the 19,044sq m (204,988sq ft) Montevetro building – accounted for 35% of all transactions.
CBRE said the slippage in the volume of lettings signed in Dublin during the first three months was not surprising, considering the time it was taking to conclude negotiations and the fact that many corporate occupiers were curtailing their expansion and relocation until such time as the economic climate was more certain.
The agency said overall demand for office space in the capital was up 71% quarter-on-quarter as a result of some large requirements that emerged during the first three months of this year. It estimated that there was now a requirement for 181,000 sq m (1,948,268sq ft) of office buildings, with almost 54 per cent expressing a preference to locate in Dublin city centre.
Jones Lang LaSalle reported a 20% increase in inquiries and said it was hoped that most of these would be completed in the next three months. The average deal size of 653sq m (7,023 sq ft) in the last quarter showed that demand was focused on space of less than 929sq m (10,000 sq ft). There may be shortages of good quality prime space in this size category in Dublin 2 and 4.