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'All-time high' for commercial property Back  
Demand is at an all-time high in the Dublin office market, with letting activity up 31 per cent in the capital year-on-year.

In Q1 2007 over 55,000m2, of office lettings were completed in the Dublin office market, according to CB Richard Ellis, which is the highest level of Q1 office take-up recorded in Dublin in six years. Moreover, the bulk of lettings agreed in the first three months comprised 20 and 25 year lettings.
According to CB Richard Ellis, the growth is being is driven by both indigenous and overseas occupiers who continue to make expansion and re-location decisions against a positive economic backdrop. Forty-eight per cent of office letting activity in Dublin in Q1 2007 comprised of international occupiers with indigenous occupiers accounting for the remainder.

The largest proportion of office accommodation let in Dublin in the first quarter of 2007 was located in the city centre, with more than half of all lettings located in the prime Dublin 2/4 and docklands districts of the city.

However, there is a continuing demand for office space in the suburbs, and 36 per cent of letting activity in Dublin in Q1 2007 was located outside the city centre, which is a considerable increase year-on-year. The largest letting concluded in Dublin during the first three months of 2007 (the letting of 6,284m2 to Royal Sun & Alliance in Dundrum) boosted take-up in the south suburbs considerably.

The vacancy rate in the south suburbs at the end of Q1 2007 was 6.9 per cent.
Within the professional services and financial services sector, there is much activity, particularly alongside Dublin's Docklands. Pricewaterhouse Coopers has just taken residency of its new custom designed Spencer Dock office building, which is situated right on the waterfront, extends some 22,000 square metres over three blocks and nine floors. Some 2,000 PwC staff have re-located to the new office from the firm's Wilton Place, George's Quay and Ashford House locations. For professionals finding the new commute difficult, the firm is operating two customised buses from three city centre connection points to Spencer Dock.

Avoca Capital set a new record for prime city centre office space of €672 per m2 when it agreed to let 75 St. Stephens Green. Other financial tenants of this building include Maples & Calder and Dolmen Stockbrokers.

In line with the CB Richard Ellis' letting activity statistics, PwC's former offices in Georges Quay have been quickly snapped up, with neighbour Ulster Bank expanding into this space.
Other moves include those by Northern Trust, which is due to move to George's Court, the new office building being constructed by the Cosgrave Property Group which fronts onto Townsend Street, Princes Street and Gloucester Street in Dublin 2.

However, as the volume of new office accommodation continues to rise, the overall vacancy rate of office accommodation in Dublin still remains high at 10.6 per cent, down from 11.1 per cent a year ago. In Dublin 2/4 this rate is lower, at just 5.7 per cent.

One space along Dublin's docklands which remains vacant is Custom House Quay. Although the restaurant Ely took a considerable portion of the former 'Stack A' warehouse, there remains significant space to be let.

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