A new report has found that approximately €1.39bn transacted across the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), Cork, Galway and Limerick within 2018, almost double that of 2017. This was the greatest value that transacted since the peak of the market more than a decade ago.
The research from Cushman & Wakefield shows that 2018 saw an enormous 90% year-on-year improvement in the total value transacted across the four major development land markets. The GDA alone saw almost €1.25bn transacted, a 96% growth year-on-year, with several high-profile transactions occurring.
Most notable of these were the sales of two of the few remaining prime sites within Dublin’s docklands. The transaction of City Block 9 and City Block 3, for approximately €180m and €113m respectively, represented the two largest development land deals in 2018.
Furthermore, the report shows that large-scale deals became a much more prominent feature of the market in 2018, with twenty deals transacting for €15m or more, or 68% of the total value. In comparison, 2017 saw just eight deals transact within that price range. This increase in large scale deals reflects the better quality of stock that came up for sale in the year, but also mounting demand within the marketplace.
On the back of a number of years of sustained house price growth, the Help to Buy scheme, increasing viability and an intense demand for housing, the residential sector comprised the majority of investment into the development land market in 2018. Approximately €928m, or 67% of the value transacted, was spent on sites primarily to be used for residential purposes.