Following a record year in 2016 for the Irish hotel market, transaction volumes for the opening half of 2017 have returned to more a normalised level, according to new analysis of the sector by Cushman & Wakefield.
The firm reported that a total of €76.8 million was transacted in the six months to June 2017, across 19 hotels, which represents a notable decline on the €140 million recorded in the same period last year.
Activity in the first half of 2017 was largely driven by the second quarter, which saw twice the number of hotels sold than the opening three months of the year.
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The analysis highlighted that the Irish economy continues to benefit from the tourism industry, with employment in the sector increasing by 6.8% annually, and overseas visitors growing by 4.2%.
Cushman & Wakefield stated that a notable feature of the market is the growing number of hotels sold off market, with seven out of the 19 hotels sold in the first half of the year transacting off market, compared to just two in the same period in 2016.
The market has also seen an increase in the share of smaller hotels transacting, with hotels under €10 million in value accounting for 95% of the number of hotels sold in H1 2017.
Hotel investment outside of the capital continues to trend upwards. In the opening half of 2017, hotel investment in Dublin comprised just 27% of the total spend, accounted for by just four hotels.
Cushman & Wakefield added that given the hotels currently under active negotiation, as well as those due to be launched for sale during the remaining months, the hotel market looks 'set to have a busier second half of the year'.