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Sherry FitzGerald To Return To Commercial Property And Expand Mortgage Brokerage

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Shelly FitzGerald is returning to the commercial real estate market.

Ireland’s largest estate agent, Sherry FitzGerald, plans to re-enter the commercial real estate sector and expand its mortgage broker business.

The agency said it wants to become the country’s leading mortgage broker and financial adviser. In the past 12 months, its broker unit has received mortgage enquiries to the value of €600M, with €200M drawn down by housebuyers, the company said.

The company now wants to re-enter the commercial real estate sector, having sold its business to Cushman & Wakefield in 2018, when it represented about 40% of its annual revenue, according to The Irish Times.

At the time of that acquisition, Cushman & Wakefield had been a 20% shareholder in the operation since its global merger with DTZ in 2015. Sherry FitzGerald had been DTZ’s Irish partner since 1998. The firm was rebranded from DTZ Sherry FitzGerald in 2016 and became Cushman & Wakefield’s exclusive affiliate in Ireland.

Sherry FitzGerald was acquired earlier this year by investment fund CastleGate Investments, which is controlled by entrepreneur and eShopWorld founder Tommy Kelly in a deal valued at about €50M. CastleGate chief executive Roy Barrett replaced co-founder Mark FitzGerald as chairman, with FitzGerald remaining as a strategic adviser to the board.

“We are actively developing that strategy at the moment," Sherry FitzGerald chief executive Steven McKenna said. "We are looking at various opportunities and have the possibility of doing an organic growth strategy with niche acquisitions. We will be accelerating that for 2023." 

In the company’s latest accounts, revenues rose by 27% last year to €31.8M, while its pretax profit increased by 20% to €2.4M.

The estate agent sold 8,000 properties in 2021 with a combined capital value of €3B. Around half the sales were through its franchise network, while 1,650 of the sales were new homes. McKenna expects Sherry FitzGerald to sell about 8,800 homes this year.