Dublin has emerged has the second most popular city in Europe for real estate investment opportunities, according to a report published by the Urban Land Institute and PwC. 
Tim O'Rahilly, Real Estate Partner with PwC, said it was not a huge surprise that Dublin remained near the top of the list this year. "Dublin zoomed up the charts last year from 21 to number two in 2013 and remained there last year. The spend in the last year has been enormous - around €4.5 billion. It's way beyond pre-crash levels," Mr O'Rahilly stated. He said there was plenty of potential left in Dublin especially as IBRC and NAMA continue to offload loan books and he said he did not believe that rising prices would deter investors. "There's still potential there. Real estate professionals are looking for return. Rent levels in prime real estate are still rising. They're above €45 per square foot. That's still perceived to be that little bit extra relative to other markets," he explained.

One feature of the list is the rise of cities in countries that suffered most in the downturn. "The gateway cities like London and Paris are now seen as being overpriced. Investors on the search for yield are looking at cities that suffered most in the recession. That's especially evident with Athens, which jumped up the list this year to number five," the PwC Partner said. He pointed out that Berlin topped the list this year cementing the position of the German cities as safe havens. It supplanted Munich which came top of the list in the previous year.

MORNING BRIEFS - The falling price of oil is having an impact on exploration companies and the oil majors. In an interim statement, Tullow Oil says it will write off about $2.3 billion in relation to exploration work and some of its assets in 2014. It said it  expects to report revenue for the year of $2.2 billion and a gross profit of $600m. BP, meanwhile, is to outline restructuring plans later today and job cuts are likely. 

*** The CEO of Shannon Airport has says he is keeping a close eye on developments around a possible takeover of Aer Lingus. Neil Pakey is very anxious that the Heathrow connection is not lost, as happened in 2007. He says the link is essential for enterprises right across the midwest to connect with businesses around the world. He made the remarks as the airport published its results for 2014 which showed another good year of growth - its second as an independent entity. It recorded a 17% increase in passenger numbers to almost 1.64 million people from 1.4 million the previous year.

*** Shares in Blackberry soared more than 30% in trade in the US yesterday after reports that it was in discussions about a possible takeover by the Korean smartphone giant, Samsung. The deal was said to have been worth as much as $7.5 billion.
According to Reuters, executives from both firms met last week to discuss a potential deal; both sides have denied the rumours. Blackberry's share price hike yesterday was the stock's biggest gain in about 10 years.