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Neil Bannon on Dublin City Centre

One of our recent Retail Pulse reports was referenced by David McWilliams in his article in Saturday’s Irish Times. The article suggests that one of the reasons for vacancy in the city centre is that Owners are demanding rental levels “priced to a pre COVID world” hoarding vacant property. The reality is very different, from a position of relative stability through 2018 & 2019 High Street rents dropped sharply, i.e. 40% by Q4 2020. They started to recover some of this loss in 2021 but are still down about 30% from 2019 levels. Current values on Grafton Street are just over half the level they were at the Celtic Tiger peak whereas values in every other real estate sector are now above their 2007 level. These are not my figures but are sourced from the MSCI Index.

From the Bannon perspective we have recently concluded 3 deals on Grafton Street and are in active discussions on many more. I don’t share David’s pessimism on Dublin City Centre and expect to see a more diverse and cosmopolitan retail mix emerge over the next year as these deals come to fruition, perhaps even a “vivacious metropolitan centre”.

If you want access to data on the retail and other sectors, click here.