MORE DEALS NOTED IN COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MARKET - Property consultants CBRE have today published their latest review of the commercial property sector. Investment returns are up 5% in the last year, having posted four quarters of positive growth. Marie Hunt, executive director and head of research with CBRE, says that there has been a huge amount of demand in the investment market. "From September or October a lot of product has come up for sale and we've seen a significant increase in transaction volumes which is very encouraging,'' she says. But Ms Hunt says the gains were not being seen across the board. The very prime end of the market was benefiting most, she adds. "Investors are primarily focused on Dublin. There's a very different buyer in provincial areas. It tends to be domestic and predominantly cash buyers. The large institutional investors from overseas tend to be more focused on office and prime retail space particularly in Dublin,'' she explains.

Marie Hunt said activity in the letting sector will not match previous years, despite a good performance in the past few months. "Many corporate occupiers are hesitant to push the button on lettings in the current climate. They are watching what is happening in the US and euro zone. But we're confident that there is still a lot of FDI activity coming in which augers well for next year,'' the says. Ms Hunt says the stage of renewed speculative development is at least about two years away. "It is currently very difficult to get funding for development and at current rental levels development wouldn't stack up anyway,'' she states. She also says there are signs that the UK market is beginning to soften but the London market is still showing strong activity.


MORNING BRIEFS - The NCB Purchasing Managers Index for October has just been published. The seasonally-adjusted headline index came in at 52.1 - anything over 50 signals growth. This was the eighth successive month of improvement in the index. There was a pick up in new export orders which returned to growth after falling into negative territory in September for the first time in seven months.

*** China's manufacturing PMIs published overnight showed a recovering growth trend there. The PMI went above 50 for the first time since the summer, albeit very marginally at 50.2. Asian markets responded to the good news reversing earlier losses led by China and Hong Kong which posted good gains.

*** Apple chief executive Tim Cook unveiled his new management team last night failing to cause any excitement on Wall Street where shares fell to a three month low of $595. Mobile software architect Scott Forstall's responsibilities will be taken over by Macintosh software chief Craig Federighi with input from iTunes manager Eddy Cue and designer Jony Ive. Apple shares have shed a tenth of their value this month - that is the biggest monthly loss since late 2008. They have been falling since touching an all-time high of $705 in September.

*** Irish IT security specialist Integrity Solutions is recruiting 19 new staff in Dublin. The company is taking on a further six people in the UK. It says increase in demand for its managed security service is driving growth in employee numbers and revenues. Recruitment is underway.