A total of €375 million transacted across the Irish development land market in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), Cork, Galway and Limerick in the first six months of 2018, a 59% increase year on year, according to the latest figures from Cushman & Wakefield Research.
This large upturn was mainly driven by activity in Dublin and its neighbouring counties of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow, which together accounted for 91% of the overall value transacted in the period. Comparing the first six months of 2018 against the same period in 2017, the total value transacted jumped 84% in Dublin to approximately €321 million, and 76% in the GDA as a whole.
This substantial increase has been prompted by developments in the residential sector, with approximately 62% of the total value transacted in the development land market in the first half of 2018 comprising residential sites.
According to the CSO, the first quarter of 2018 saw 1,879 new homes completed in the GDA, a 23% rise year on year. Further expansion in construction activity within the GDA should be expected, as within the sites which transacted in the first half of the year, there was full planning permission in place for over 500 residential units, with feasibility studies suggesting the potential for in excess of 2,250 more units.
The development land market within the GDA is likely to strengthen further as the year progresses. By the end of June, over €300 million was sale agreed. Additionally, a number of high-profile sites have, or are expected to, come to the market.
The most notable of these are City Blocks 3 and 9 in the Dublin Docklands. City Blocks 3 and 9 are the two key remaining sites of scale in the Dublin Docklands and its Strategic Development Zone (SDZ). Stemming from this, Cushman & Wakefield say 2018 has the potential be one of the strongest years in the GDA development land market in almost a decade.
Commenting on the figures, Associate Director at Cushman & Wakefield, John Donegan said, "2018 is proving to be a significant year in the development land market, with strong performances being witnessed in both the residential and commercial sectors. The restrained supply of large development opportunities has been alleviated somewhat as several prime sites of significant scale have now come to the market in Dublin city centre and suburbs."
He added, "One of the key policy initiatives driving the particularly strong performances in the residential sector was revision to apartment standards in March 2018, which has led to greater efficiencies in apartment development."