Lifting of restrictions triggers strong resumption in commercial property activity

CBRE highlights healthy pick-up in activity in first two months of year

The lifting of Covid-19 restrictions has triggered a strong resumption in activity in the commercial property sector, according to property firm CBRE.

The group’s latest review of the sector highlighted a pick-up in Dublin office lease deals and the launch of several new buildings, which were postponed during lockdown.

It cautioned, however, that labour shortages and rising material and labour costs “which have a direct impact on viability and deliverability” remain a concern.

The company said that as a direct result of the pandemic there was particularly strong demand by businesses for own-door buildings that offer generous reception areas, balconies, car spaces and cycling facilities.

Marie Hunt, head of research and consultancy at CBRE Ireland, said: "Several new sales and leasing campaigns launched since Christmas, a number of assets are currently being prepared for sale, new occupier requirements have been formalised and quite a few transactions have completed during the first two months of the year.

“Indeed, activity levels have picked up pace across all sectors of the market and this is now becoming increasingly evident in provincial markets as well as in the capital. If the first two months of the year are any indication of the year ahead, a very active 2022 is in prospect for the property sector,” she said.

“ We expect to see momentum building further over the course of the coming months, particularly as workers return to offices in even greater numbers and tourist activity starts to pick up.”

However, Ms Hunt said that even though the public sector aspired to occupy the most sustainable buildings it has not been very active in the office market since the onset of the pandemic. “This may change over the course of 2022 as public sector workers return to their offices in greater numbers.”