The Irish spent nearly €8bn (£5bn) on commercial property in Europe in 2006, according to CB Richard Ellis’ Outlook 2007 report.

It is nearly treble the €3bn (£1.9bn) the Irish spent in their domestic property market. The Irish spend contributed to the €230bn (£150bn) invested in Europe’s commercial property market reached last year – a 40% growth from 2005.

The property services firm said Irish investors would continue to focus on UK and key cities in Europe including Germany, Amsterdam, Brussels, Barcelona, Madrid and Paris, but would be less dominant in Europe due to pricing than in previous years. ‘Irish investors will have to learn to manage their expectations on the basis that we are now entering a period of lower, but more sustainable property market returns over the next couple of years,’ said Caroline McCarthy, director of overseas investment at CB Richard Ellis.