The 2010 Q2 Dublin Retail Market Review has just been published by CB Richard Ellis.  Whilst acknowledging the drop off in retail sales, footfall and rent over the past couple of years, it suggests that the retail market in the capital is stabilising and starting to grow tentatively, although there is still downward pressure on rents which have dropped 47.5% in prime locations (see graph below).   Retail rents on Grafton Street are now back down to 2003 levels.

The pipeline for retail developments are also, not unsurprisingly slowing.  51,000 sq.m of shopping centre space will be completed by the end of 2010, and only 19,000 sq.m in 2011, with no retail park space in either year.  By the end of 2010 there will be over 2m sq.m of shopping centre space and 1.32m sq.m of retail park space in the state.  Indeed, as the graph below shows, shopping centre and retail park space has doubled since 2005, just in time for the recession.  Whilst vacancy remains low on the prime city centre locations such as Grafton Street and Henry Street, it is higher in newer suburban and small town locations around the country.  It would be good to get overall retail vacancy levels and empty floorspace for the country. (If anyone has a source for such data, I’d be grateful for the info.)  One suspects that it is a couple of hundred thousand sq. m’s, most of which is destined for NAMA and possibly has no immediate future until the economy is well on the road to recovery, unemployment is falling, and people have disposble income to spend (and even then might be surplus to demand).

For more information see the CB Richard Ellis report, which has a load more data and analysis.

Rob Kitchin