Dublin office market ‘back with a bang’ in third quarter

Updates from Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE point to recovery after pandemic

Activity in the Dublin office market picked up in the third quarter, two separate updates on the sector suggested on Tuesday, with one property agent, Cushman & Wakefield, signalling that the bounce back following the relaxation of Covid restrictions has been “faster than expected”.

Cushman & Wakefield said a total of 45,050sq m in office space had been reserved in the three months to the end of September in a “welcome bounce” for the market, while a further 36,500sq m of space was signed in the period. This compares to 13,800sq m signed in the second quarter and just 2,185sq m signed in the opening quarter of the year.

The total volume of space reserved in the market now sits at its highest level since the first quarter of 2020, it said.

"Demand has come back with a bang," said Cushman & Wakefield Ireland head of offices Ronan Corbett, who also noted a resurgence in interest in larger spaces, most of which comes from technology companies. "The trends for the fourth quarter and 2022 in general look very positive," he said.

Meanwhile, in its latest quarterly bulletin commercial property specialist CBRE placed Dublin office leasing activity at 40,000sq m in 49 individual transactions in the third quarter, which it also said was the highest take-up since the first quarter of 2020, and showed the market was “now firmly in recovery mode”.

The overall rate of vacancy in the capital fell again to 8.8 per cent, having peaked during the pandemic at 9.6 per cent, CBRE said.

"Now that lockdown measures have eased, office workers have started to return to their offices,and occupiers are once again able to travel and inspect buildings. There has been a discernible increase in appetite for office accommodation in the Dublin market," said Vanessa Mansfield, associate director in the office leasing team at CBRE Ireland.

“Take-up volumes are showing signs of improvement quarter on quarter. In addition, demand has increased in each of the last three quarters, with total requirements for accommodation in the capital at the end of Q3 2021 in excess of 407,000sq m – close to the pre-pandemic peak in Q4 2019, which is very encouraging.”.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times