Two Bank of Ireland branches in Dublin city and two more in Cork are to be offered for sale in one lot or on an individual basis. The €8,750,000 portfolio is to be sold by agents Murphy Mulhall on behalf of the Layden Group, wh
ich bought 29 bank branches in June, 2007, for €94 million.
It subsequently disposed of six branch offices at Bandon, Dunboyne, Kinsale, Maynooth, Donegal town and Killester (Dublin), and when the four latest sales are completed, it will have reduced its exposure to 19 branches.
The most attractive of the buildings is at Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6, which has a guide price of €1.65 million. The 252sq m (2,715sq ft) building is currently rented at €103,853 which will give the next owner a 6 per cent return .
The guide price for the high-profile corner branch in Drumcondra has been set at €1.45 million, a figure that will give a net yield of 6.16 per cent. The passing rent will be €93,370.
The highest value branch going for sale, Mallow, at €4 million, is currently producing a rent of €270,685. The 476sq m (5,214sq ft) building will give an income return of 6.46 per cent.
Also going for sale at €1.65 million is the Mitchelstown branch, located in the centre of the town and rented at €111,420. The yield in this case will be 6.46 per cent.
The attractions of the bank branches include the fact that under the 25-year leases applying from 2007, the four branches have another 16.75 years to run. The investments are expected to appeal to a broad range of businesspeople and investment funds anxious to buy good-quality investments while values are still below the peak.
Robert Murphy of Murphy Mulhall said investors should be aware these properties were for sale for only the second time in decades. He described Bank of Ireland as "an exemplary tenant" because of the security offered by such long-term leases and the upwards-only rent reviews that were difficult to find in the Irish market.
The Layden Group, founded by Joe Layden in the 1970s, has come through the property recession in relatively good shape, having reported profits of around €1.3 million in 2013 and again in 2014. It entered and exited the German market under the watchful eye of Mr Layden. In Dublin it recently sold the O2 building at 50 Grafton Street to Irish Life for around €6.75 million, after buying it in a weak market in 2012 for €4.3 million. The store is currently available for letting.
The company's core assets in Dublin, which continue to trade successfully, include George's Arcade between South Great George's Street and Drury Street, Dunnes Stores in the same building, and the Epicurean Food Hall in Lower Liffey Street, which is currently being upgraded.