Sunday Property Round-Up, February 4th 2018

For an overview of the new homes market in Ireland, the Sunday Independent newspaper is the one to pick up today.

Below is a weekly catch-up on the property stories that caught my attention.  As always, please do let me know if I have missed out on any interesting property news by emailing


Sunday Read


My pick for the Sunday read today is an interview given by property developer Noel Smyth  to Maeve Sheehan on page 8 in the Sunday Independent ‘The mogul who gives TDs “a pain in their face” on suicide’.  In this forthright interview, the controversial developer, best known for his role in the downfall of Charles Haughey,  talks about how his family has been impacted by suicide and how that was the genesis for them founding the 3Ts with Professor Kevin Malone, a  foundation with the aim of lobbying, training and funding research into the subject of suicide and mental illness. He believes fundamentally that suicide can be prevented and proposes  the establishment of a state agency to coordinate existing services and effectively unite all of the ancillaries services needed to tackle suicide in Ireland.

3Ts  is a registered charity working to help prevent deaths by suicide through research, intervention and support. For further details please go to:


The construction and development community have been sorely impacted by suicide over the past decade and mental health has become a talking point within the industry in recent years. In fact, the Construction Industry Federation  has had a large role to play in this as part of their Safety Week initiatives over the past number of years. Wellness is an important feature of employee relations and engagement right across the industry with many employers incorporating traditional and alternative therapies aimed at reducing stress and increasing resilience. This is an increasingly important consideration for employers so if you were thinking bringing wellness speakers and practitioners  into your business, or if you wish to extend these vital services to employees,  you might be interested in learning more at based on Fitzwilliam Street in Dublin 2.



Trending Property Stories

The biggest trending stories this week are: firstly, the increase in proposed social housing by private developers and secondly, Ireland’s move towards co-living or shared living, beyond what we might recognise in student accommodation or  different configurations  of sheltered housing.


Social Housing:

Richard Barrett’s Bartra signals readiness to build 400 social homes: Government hopes new lease scheme will see 10,000 social dwellings constructed.  Further details through the Irish Times here:



Shared Living:

I wrote extensively about this earlier in the week here:

Also, the Sunday Business Post have a piece about the international “giants” eyeing up the Dublin market, more about this here:




 Other property news


Philip Farrell writes ‘Ticking time bomb of our rental crisis: Tax breaks are needed to help increase supply the housing market’.  The statistics make for stark reading; 34% of the population are now renting and a mere 0.15% of the total housing stock is available for rental, “Demand is at least four times that level“.

It should not be difficult to make the case for the state to incentivise homebuilders yet this  appears to be the last thing the political establishment is willing to do.  This is something that I have spoken about at length over the past 12 months; I resolutely believe the problem lies in the fact that housing is a political issue. We do not have one agency body that is not subject to the whims  of the leadership party of the day and this is the problem.  And extension of this problem is that our current leadership does not trust the people of Ireland enough to be straight about the problem and the solution i.e. homebuilding of the type of property we need in the very areas that we need them is simply not viable and intervention by the state is required in order to see substantial delivery of new homes.

To my mind, two things are required, firstly we need politicians of the day to make brave decisions; secondly, we need a long-term agency that is responsible for overseeing a long-term plan that cannot be interfered with by temporary leadership parties to win temporary favour.


New Homes


Property editor Fran Power gives a good overview of the New Homes market right across the country  in the Sunday Property supplement today.  While we still do not have any clarity around the figures, we know that between 25,000 and 50,000 new units are needed every year for the next few years and what has been delivered to date does not even come close to this. In relation to mortgage figures,  the number of mortgage approvals continues to rise (FTBs up 31% over the last 12 months) as does the value of those mortgage approvals.


Mortgage Advice


Michael Darling and Sinead Ryan give their top six tips to help homebuyers secure that all-important mortgage approval:


  1. Establish repayment capacity
  2. Manage your current account
  3. Show permanent and stable employment
  4. Expect  no greater than 3.5 times your salary
  5. Get your deposit sorted, even by way of gift
  6. Use the mortgage broker as the most efficient way to access the nine lenders currently operating in the market




Industry happenings








  • The next proptech meet-up is taking place in Devitts on Camden Street, Dublin 8 on Monday 5th February at 7pm – link for booking here: PROPTECH MEET-UP




To keep up-to-date on all things tech and innovation for the planning, construction and property industries, head over to, the national resource website for innovators, investors and mentors or email .

Property Insiders Guide


As many of you might know, my annual property book The Irish Property Buyers’ Handbook (since 2011) has undergone a rebrand for 2018 and will now appear as part of The Property Insider series, published by Oak Tree Press, the first three titles are now published and available here.


(Finally, as always, apologies for any typos, it’s difficult to get good help on a Sunday!)

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