With positive retail spending between 2013 -2016, CBRE estimates that there have been 12 transactions of Grafton Street assets accounting for approximately €253 million. 43% of the properties were acquired by Irish Institutions whereas 37% were acquired by European/International Investors. Today CBRE estimates that 60% of the retail buildings on Grafton Street are in the ownership of Pension Funds/Institutions while 40% are in the ownership of Private/Individuals and owner occupiers. The most prominent landlords on the street are Irish Life, Aviva, State Street, GLL and IPUT. The Sovereign Portfolio, acquired by Irish Life for €152 million and the Grafton Collection, acquired by Hines for €55 million, were the most recent transactions to occur on Grafton Street, both of which captivated interest from local Institutional & European Investors.
The volume of retail sales, according to the CSO Index show a year-on-year increase of 8.1% which indicates consumer confidence is improving and in turn is leading to stronger retail trade and improved efforts from retailers to expand their presence in Ireland. On the back of an improving retail market, International brands are also seeking to secure their first store to launch their brand in Ireland. Prime High Street Zone A rents are currently in the region of €6,300 per sq m and are expected to reach €6,795 per sq m by the end of 2017. The vacancy level on Grafton Street is now in the order of 2.17% and is anticipated to fall further on the back of growing retail demand.
Since 2013, there have been 17 leasing transactions completed on Grafton Street accounting for over 75,500 sq ft of retail accommodation. Interestingly 70% of the retail take-up was completed by Fashion & Footwear retail tenants as demonstrated by Massimo Dutti, Vans, Dune, Levi Strauss, & Other Stories and Victoria’s Secret, whereas 16% of the retail take up on Grafton Street was by Health & Beauty occupier such as The Body Shop, Space NK and Urban Decay.
Results from the 2016 Census show that Ireland’s population is currently 4.75 million, an increase of 3.7% since 2011. The highest rate was in Dublin which grew by 8.0%, accounting for 40% of the overall population.
Ireland has been the best performing economy in Europe for the last 3 years, GDP growth of approximately 3.2% is expected in 2017.
Retail sales up 5.9% year-on-year.
Unemployment rate has consistently fallen from 15% in 2012, to 6.2% today.
Tenant demand and activity strengthened in prime locations. This is evident by 17 leasing deals occuring on Grafton Street since Q1 2013.
CBRE forecasts suggest that Grafton Street rents will grow a further 7.9% by the end of 2017 bringing Zone A’s to €6,795 per sq m.