New research from CBRE Ireland confirms a very low volume of land sales completed in the Irish market in the first quarter of 2022. Although there is approximately €350 million of land sales agreed at present, CBRE says that much activity in this sector is occurring off-market and that only 14 land sales were completed in the first three months of the year, totalling approximately €70 million between them. According to the property consultants, the low volume of land sales completed in Q1 is not surprising considering the dearth of large land banks being offered for sale in the Irish market at present.
Volume of Land Sales in Ireland 2014 – Q1 2022
Source: CBRE Research
According to Peter Garrigan, Head of the Development Land team at CBRE said, “While the development land market is busy and anything that is offered for sale is attracting strong interest, most of the land sales that are being completed are off-market and relatively small in scale. In addition to ongoing judicial review hearings and a review of Ireland’s planning system, which is currently underway, many local authority development plans are about to expire with new development plans and regulations due to come into force in due course. This period of uncertainty is causing many vendors to take stock and this in turn is impacting on the volume of sites being brought to the market at present. Developers are understandably frustrated at the shortage of large-scale opportunities. There is significant pent-up demand for large residential development sites in the Greater Dublin Area in particular. Sites with the benefit of planning permission are most highly sought after and are achieving premiums considering the urgency to deliver housing supply. However, not all sites with planning are shovel-ready, in the sense that the planning permission that is in place may be for a scheme that is unviable in the current climate or inefficiently designed, necessitating a revised application.
We have good visibility on sites due to come to the market after Easter, both on and off market and there are a number of sizeable sites sales in negotiation at present but in the absence of any large-scale opportunities, it is hard to see 2022 land sale volumes matching the sort of volumes experienced pre-pandemic”.