Retail parks bounce back as recovery in spending picks up

Dublin centres have less than 4% space available, according to BNP Paribas Real Estate

Dublin’s retail parks, many of which felt the full force of the crash, are now operating at close to capacity thanks to the recovery in consumer spending, according to research by BNP Paribas Real Estate.

The estate agent reports that less than 4 per cent of the floor space is available to let at Dublin’s 14 retail parks.

Eight retail parks are fully occupied – Airside, Blanchardstown, The Park Carrickmines, Fonthill, Leopardstown, Lucan, Nutgrove, and the Arena Centre – while Woodie's DIY is the largest occupier by store number followed by Halfords, Homestore + More, Carpetright and Homebase.

According to BNP Paribas Real Estate, retail parks were particularly badly affected during the recession when consumers held off on buying big ticket household and DIY items. However, the recent recovery in sales of these types of goods has been beneficial to anchor stores at retail parks.

"These retail parks are now nearly fully occupied for the first time in over a decade," the BNP Paribas Real Estate report said. "With no new retail parks being built, rents are expected to rise, making it more difficult for overseas stores to enter the market. The population of Dublin has also increased by 5.5 per cent since 2011 and the amount of retail park space per person has fallen to as little as .11 square metres in the Dublin City Council area."

Eoin Feeney of BNP Paribas Real Estate said retail parks were one of the few real estate asset classes in Dublin that can be described as "undersupplied" and, as a result, "rental growth prospects for landlords will be strong with significant upside, particularly in the most sought-after retail parks".