Ireland is set for a “busy year”, with more core real estate investors, according a report by CBRE.

In its bi-monthly analysis report, the advisory firm said the Irish real estate market was evolving, with more core investors targeting the sector.

The relative weakness of the euro, CBRE said, is attracting interest from UK and US buyers, while appetite from German institutional buyers has increased.

Marie Hunt, CBRE executive director and head of research for Ireland, said the market was transforming, from being “dominated by opportunistic investors” to being targeted by an “increasing number of core investors”.

Hunt said CBRE was seeing increased appetite from both local and international institutional investors – driven by Irish real estate’s “attractive returns” in the current low interest and low inflation environment. 

“Across all sectors of the Irish commercial property market, there has been a busy start to the year, with a huge focus on preparing campaigns and getting assets and loan portfolios ready to launch,” Hunt said.

CBRE said investment activity in the first two months of this year was less than in the final quarter of last year, when the impending Capital Gains Tax (CGT) waiver prompted investors to transact.

“There has been a lot of work done since Christmas on preparing assets and loan portfolios for sale over the coming months, suggesting another busy year is in prospect,” Hunt said.

Irish investment, CBRE said, continues to be driven by strong volumes of deleveraging activity.

The advisory firm said Ireland had seen more secondary trading of assets as part of asset and loan portfolios in recent years, with many transactions off-market.