OFFICE rents in Cork city remain almost half the price of corresponding rents in Dublin.
The average office rent in Cork is €344 per square metre, 49% cheaper than the average rent of €673 per square metre in Dublin.
That is according to the latest market update from estate agents Lisney.
The Q3 market update shows a slight increase in office vacancy in Cork. It now stands at 13.6%, up from 12.8% at the end of the second quarter. New office take-up was described as 'moderate', too, coming on the back of a record-breaking second quarter, which was at its highest point since 2012.
However, the report notes that this figure was distorted by the massive expansion at Apple, which included 15,000 sq m of office space in Hollyhill.
Demand for high-spec modern offices remains high, according to Lisney, with pre-let agreements for modern office blocks 'gaining momentum.'
It is expected that rents will also increase slightly as new offices set a higher benchmark for starting points.
The report noted that supply is expected to grow in the coming months as high profile developments near completion. This includes the likes of 85 South Mall, which is fully let by KPMG and cyber-security company Forcepoint, and Navigation Square, which will see its first block completed before the end of the year. Its second block is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
Outside the city, No 3 Eastgate Drive in Little Island, the expansion of Eli Lilly, is also due for completion by early 2019.
There are also a further 13 schemes with planning permission with combined floor areas of 185,400 sqm. Eight are in the city centre while three are in the south suburbs and one each in the west and east suburbs. Some are expected to begin construction in the near future, including Horgan's Quay in the city centre.
The proposed Penrose Dock office development on Penrose Quay in Cork city centre has received full planning permission for 23,000 sqm across two buildings and construction is expected to commence by year-end. The development is currently seeking pre-lets.
Activity in the city is being led by the professional services sector, accounting for half the total number of transactions, according to the report. However, it noted that it accounted for just one-quarter of the let floor space.
Over 33,500 sqm has been transacted in the year to September, healthier than the 13,230 sqm seen in the same period last year.