Planning Regulations and Planning Process Delays Impacting on Irish Commercial Real Estate Sector
The latest Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Sentiment Tracker from Origin Capital, completed by 180 industry professionals, identified industry concerns about the current planning regulations and processes in Ireland and the recent increase in commercial property stamp duty as being among the risks faced within the sector.
Findings on CRE in Ireland generally:
- 84% believed that planning regulations and processes were negatively impacting the sector (14% no impact; 2% positive impact).
- 80% believed the level of funding being provided by traditional banking institutions in the CRE sector was not sufficient to meet the needs of the market.
- 67% predicted that it was likely that new funders will enter the market (19% thought it unlikely; 14% unsure).
Findings on Budget 2018 Measures:
- 57% believed the proposal to refund commercial stamp duty will have a positive market impact (to purchasers of residential sites who commence construction within 30 months).
- 58% believed that the Government’s creation of the Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) under ISIF will lead to a moderate improvement in the availability of debt funding for residential property developers (10% believed a significant improvement).
Findings on the impact of Brexit on CRE in Ireland:
- 55% of respondents believed that a “Hard Brexit” would be a negative development for CRE in Ireland – 28% of respondents believed the UK would ultimately opt for a “Hard Brexit” (45% thought a “Soft Brexit” the ultimate outcome; 26% unsure of outcome).
- 53% of respondents believed CRE prices in Ireland were increasing moderately as a result of potential relocation of UK companies to Ireland (7% increasing significantly; 38% no impact)
Commenting on the findings, Ross Metcalfe, CEO of Origin Capital, stated: “It is interesting to note that the majority of respondents believe that the period of exceptional growth in CRE prices and rents has come to an end, bringing some much-needed stability to the sector. Market stability helps to bring all parties to a transaction, including lenders, who can more accurately determine the repayment capacity of a borrower and gauge the appropriate level of risk involved.”
He added: “Once again, 80% of respondents did not believe that the level of funding provided by traditional banking institutions in the CRE sector was sufficient to meet the needs of the market. This is a similar percentage to our previous CRE Sentiment Tracker. Origin Capital are working with a variety of borrowers to provide financing to meet their lending requirements and we believe this will be important feature in the market in 2018.”
Findings – CRE in Ireland
The findings of the tracker also showed that the majority of the professionals believed that CRE prices and rents (94% and 88% of professionals respectively) will either remain stable or increase slightly in the next three months, following years of substantial growth in the sector.
In addition to the concerns raised around planning and the increase in commercial property stamp duty, other issues raised include:
- The current shortage of housing and its consequential negative impact on the CRE market.
- Public transport and building height limitations in the Docklands and City Centre affecting future economic/CRE growth.
- The continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit.