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WeWork's London expansion slows; Irish commercial property deals to hit €3.5B

* Flexible workspace provider WeWork Cos. Inc.'s lease agreements in London in 2018 fell to almost half of what it signed up the year before as its rivals speed up acquisitions, London's Financial Times reported. The company signed up for 651,446 square feet of space in the capital, significantly lower compared to the 1.2 million square feet of new space it took up in 2017, the report added, citing JLL.

A number of WeWork's new sites are under construction and are expected to open in 2019 and 2020, FT added.

* According to Knight Frank, investment in the commercial real estate market of Ireland is on track to reach €3.5 billion for full-year 2018, topping the €2.5 billion worth of investment volume logged in 2017, the Irish Independent reported.

Office deals take up the larger portion of the total volume, with Asian investors involved in three of the top five office transactions during the year, according to the report.

UK and Ireland

* London home buyers are halting their activity in the weakening housing market, making it harder for sellers to find owners for their assets in the British capital in 2018, FT reported, citing estate agents Hamptons International.

Vendors waited an average of 47 days to find a buyer during the year, up from 24 days in 2014.

* Yearly house price growth for prime properties in Edinburgh reached 10.6% in the fourth quarter as the city turns into one of the hottest property markets in the U.K., FT reported, citing Knight Frank.

Properties in the city are being sold at a faster rate than the prior year, with prices for prime assets climbing nearly 4x quicker than average values in the U.K.

Middle East

* The Middle East's first Banyan Tree residential project, located in Dubai, has garnered international interest after receiving sale inquiries from Southeast Asian investors due to the strong presence of the Banyan Tree brand in its home country of Singapore, Trade Arabia reported.

Developer Sweid & Sweid also received interest from British investors for the project, which is scheduled to open in in the third quarter of 2019, according to the report.

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