While improving economic conditions and growing consumer confidence has increased retail activity in recent years, it remains to be seen whether Brexit dents the retail recovery in Ireland. In particular, the response of non-Irish retailers to Brexit will be important. We are however continuing to see strong interest in retail space, particularly in the prime high street units and shopping centres.
We see a growing number of turnover based rents, with landlords rebasing the level and nature of the rent in many cases. Upward only rent reviews remain in place for many leases but have been outlawed for leases created since December 2009. This means that a two tier market is developing, with the first meaningful rent reviews taking place it is unknown whether there will be a discount for those with upward only leases.
When lease terms expire, the tenant has an opportunity to reset the rent to market rates. CPI rents are popular in parts of Europe but there is some uncertainty about whether these are legally robust in Ireland given the 2009 ban on new upward only clauses.
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Highlights included advising Deutsche Bank on its purchase of a large portfolio of residential properties.