Q1 2024 – Dublin Office Market Review

Take-up in the Dublin Office Market for the first 3 x months of 2024 was the lowest in over a decade (excluding the exceptional circumstances around Covid in 2020 & 2021). While these very low numbers help the narrative around the potential demise of the office, a closer look at the data reveals some interesting and consistent trends.

Q1 2024 saw 30 x deals in total, amounting to 160,429 sq.ft. The CBD Dublin 2 appeal is now very obvious with 90% of all deals choosing this area as their preference.

Firstly, and as we always champion in MM, the SME sector (0-10,000 sq.ft. ‘takes’) is the only show in town. This size range has been a constant over the years in terms of contributing year on year to 70 – 80% of all No. of deals in the market. During the Big Tech Pre-let boom years 2017 – 2022, they didn’t get the headlines as by sq.ft. comparison, they were a fraction of the total annual sq.ft. take-up figures.

With the decline in Big Tech and Hybird/WFH influence, large ‘takes’ of space are now the exception rather than the norm. As a result, the sq.ft. figures are down but those that are taking space are now featuring prominently in the data. Guess who – yes, the SME Sector!

The resilience of the 0 – 10,000 sq.ft. range, which accounted for 90% of the transactions, reaffirms a consistent demand in this segment. It’s a reminder that even in quieter periods, certain fundamentals hold strong,” adds Rebecca Breen, Associate Director.

One notable trend which is on this rise in Educational/Medical Change of Use deals, signaling an evolution in market dynamics and diversification in the usage of commercial spaces.

For these ‘Best in Class’ (BIC) office buildings in prime Dublin 2/4 locations, the position on quoting rents and incentives remain unchanged … for now. Elsewhere, refurbished offices and city fringe/suburban locations are now feeling the pinch and fighting back. Here, rents are up for discussion and rent free periods of 18 – 24 months for 10 year leases are being offered in some buildings in an effort to attract those genuine occupiers seeking to do deals. This is good broker work in my opinion – too many wait too long to grasp the nettle. Those Landlord who present the most attractive deals will give themselves the best chance, those who stick to their guns are betting on some uptick (that I can’t see yet) or can afford to hold out and are backing their product.

At Murphy Mulhall, we are helping occupiers with their commercial real estate needs. The Office Market is changing and their are lots of intricacies involved in moving your business, renewing your lease or simply understanding if you should ‘Stay v Go’?

We can help – its what we do best. Get in touch with myself or Rebecca to find out more.

James Mulhall 

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