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Brexit helps Dublin office deals surge by 66%

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
One of Dublin’s main financial districts. Photo: Reuters

Dublin saw a huge 66% surge in the amount of office space taken up in the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period last year, with Brexit being a major factor in the uptick.

A new report from real estate agency BNP Paribas reveals that, in total, the first quarter of the year saw deals signed for more than 130,000 square meters in Dublin office space, compared to just under 80,000 square meters in 2018.

Since the 2016 Brexit vote, more than 70 firms have announced plans to either move to Dublin or expand their presence in the city. These firms — including JP Morgan, Coinbase, and Bank of America — have already leased around 28,500 square meters in office space, according to the report.

Salesforce signed the biggest office space deal in the first quarter of 2019, when it agreed to let more than 43,000 square meters of office space in one of Dublin’s main financial districts following its announcement of 1,500 new jobs in the city.

Meanwhile, Facebook, which has its European headquarters in the city, signed a deal to let almost 16,000 square meters in Dublin’s south side.

In addition to the moves of multinational companies, there was also an increase in deals signed by state entities and public sector companies.

The Irish Central Bank completed its acquisition of nearly 20,000 square meters of land close to its new headquarters in a move that will “secure the organisation’s long-term accommodation needs.”

Brexit also saw growth in the serviced office sector. Insurance firm Chaucer, law firm DLA Piper, and asset management firm Baillie Gifford are among the firms operating out of serviced offices in the city.

“This is a trend that is likely to continue with many companies opting to take flexible office space to set up their Irish operations before committing to longer lease terms,” the report notes.

The findings follow a big jump in Dublin commercial property deals in 2018. For the first time ever, Asian investors accounted for three of the top five investments in office buildings in the city.