Sales of development land treble in Dublin area
Some €155m spent this year in 55 deals compared to €49m in 50 sales in 2012
The overall turnover in development land sales in the greater Dublin area in the first nine months of this year was more than three times higher than in 2012, according to Wesley Rothwell of CBRE.
More than €155 million was spent this year in 55 transactions compared to €49 million in 50 sales in 2012.
Rothwell, who specialise in development land sales, said the number of transactions signed over recent months did not reflect the volume of activity under way because of the long time it was taking to complete deals.
A large number of sales agreed both on and off market and now at various stages of closing had been prompted by signs of a recovery at the prime end of the housing and office markets.
He predicted that the total value of non-agricultural land sales this year was likely to exceed €175 million.
He said that while the demand in 2012 was primarily focussed on sites with planning permission for traditional housing schemes of up to 30 units in established suburbs, there was now interest not only in sites with planning permission but others suitable for housing.
There were also inquiries for larger sites capable of accommodating over 200 homes.
Rothwell said that with Irish house prices up for the fifth consecutive month in August – and Dublin house prices up 10.6 per cent on an annual basis – this would be the first time that prices had risen by a double digit since 2007.
The successful launch of new housing developments over the past six months had contributed to the increased demand for housing sites within the greater Dublin area and led to reports that there were now over 20,000 purchasers waiting to buy houses in the Dublin market.
Rothwell said that while 93,419 houses were built at the peak of the market in 2006, the figure had dropped to 8,488 in 2012.
In the first half of 2013 the figure had fallen again to 3,700 units. He said this was clearly an insufficient number of new homes. “We believe that in a mature market there is a demand for 30,000-40,000 units nationally.”
Funding for development land, he said, was still extremely limited and in most instances development land was being sold to cash buyers.