Sunday Property Round-Up, March 25th 2018


Below is a weekly catch-up on the property stories that caught my attention, together with some of the property-related stories from across the broadsheets today.  As always, you might let me know if I have missed out on any interesting property news by emailing


(Apologies in advance for any typos, it’s difficult to get good help on a Sunday!)


Sunday Read


Emerging Trends in Real Estate: The Global Outlook 2018



Trending Property Story


An Bord Pleanála has rejected plans by developer Johnny Ronan’s company Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) to build Dublin’s tallest building next to Tara Street station in Dublin:

Here is the industry reaction to this:

​From Construction Network Ireland:


From development funder Lotus Investment Group: Legitimate Expectations: Can Dublin Develop in the Face of  Planning Unpredictability?


Niamh Horan  also writes about this in the Sunday Independent today, asking the question ‘Is it time for our city planners to stop blocking modern high-rise buildings? While 2017 was a record year for constructing tall buildings abroad Dublin remains a flatland’.  She cites one of the main shared frustrations, that is, an inspector sent in by ABP  recommended that the tower go ahead, describing it as a valuable addition to the city’s architecture, however, this appears to have been ignored by the appeals board.


In fact, while every newspaper carries a story, opinion piece or commentary on the planning decision, I have yet to see even one in support of the final decision… the following column comes close though:


In The Sunday Times, Lorcan Sirr’s column this week reads ‘Don’t  blame the planners, blame the system: How planning works needs an overhaul to come up with something that operates for the good of all – and restores the reputation of hapless officials’. This is quite a timely peace.  The writer mentions that “There are far too close links between industry and policymakers. Unfortunately, manipulating the planning system to suit preferred interests has also been a regular feature of recent policy moves”.  He is calling for the system to be streamlined; for a demonstration that the system is “a power for the overall good, which may not be the same as an individual’s good“;  for a series of small solutions rather than waiting for that magic bullet and, finally, he concludes that “it needs to describe put a successful planning system would look like“.


Other property news


  • The Sunday Business Post has an excellent feature on Irish developer Garrett  Kelleher and how his plans to build the world’s tallest building (at that time)  in Chicago were scuppered by Nama “just for the sake of it“. This in-depth feature by Barry J Whyte makes for interesting reading  and it is worth picking up the paper just for this.


  • The Sunday Times publishes its special ‘Irish Rich List: The definitive guide to wealth in Ireland’ today. Colm Murphy writes that “Ten years after the banking crisis, Ireland’s rich are wealthier than ever… The entry point has jumped by a record €12 million to €52 million“.


  • Colm McCarthy has a comment piece in the Sunday Independent today, ‘Over  budget, over time, over and over again’ – The curse of thinking too big: “As Dublin looks to expand its tram system, the plan risk running into the Iron Law of Megaprojects“. This is in response to the publication last week by the National Transport Authority of the preferred route for MetroLink ( formally Metro North).  With an estimated cost of €3 billion,  it will be the most expensive single project ever undertaken in Ireland.







  • In The Sunday Times, John Burns  reports that a documentary, which is to be shown on TV3 next Friday, will look at the aftermath of the Ballymun regeneration project.  This will be an interesting one to watch.


  • Gavin Daly writes ‘Iput lodges designs to enhance  Park life’,  referring to the company’s proposed €200 million residential and commercial scheme at the Park retail and business Park in Carrickmines, Dublin.  Planning permission is expected to be lodged with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown county council this week.


  • In a piece by Philip Connolly, ISIF-backed homebuilder, Ardstone Homes, is planning to build more than 300 houses in Newbridge, County Kildare.


  • Gavin McLoughlin, in the business section of the Independent today, writes about the Irish serviced office company Iconic Offices and how they have engaged Deloitte to help the company raise equity for their “ambitious” expansion plans into continental Europe.  This is welcome news for one of Dublin’s most innovative and successful property companies, best of luck to the team at Iconic Offices!


  • Ronald Quinlan writes  that Market Property Group has now been given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála  for 420 homes in Cabra, on the old CIE site.


  • Construction Information Services have a roundup on the commercial property page in the SBP today, highlights include: Milltown New Homes Ltd has begun work on a housing development in Carlow that is likely to deliver 199 new homes with estimated cost of €35 million;  planning permission has been sought for a €64 million office and retail development at Mayor St and Castle Forbes Road in the Dublin Docklands, and a further 630+ student beds are planned for Dublin 7 and Dublin 8.


Industry happenings


  • Marie Hunt, executive director and head of research at CBRE Ireland, has an interesting opinion piece in the Money section of The Sunday Times today headed ‘Republic’s commercial property has finally come of age’.   In it she writes that “Commercial real estate in Ireland is radically different from a decade ago. Many of these changes have been for the better. Although the market will remain cyclical in the future, in many ways it is arguably more secure and mature than it was 10 years ago“.   She talks about how the sector has become increasingly professional over the past decade, including the entry of Irish-listed corporate entities into the marketplace, focusing on Irish commercial real estate.  She also refers to the broadening of investment sectors through built-to-rent, student accommodation, senior housing – and presumably logistics and data centres.


  • Last week, many of the broadsheets covered the story of Manley Construction successfully exiting the examinership process. This week, Ian Guider in The Sunday Business Post writes about the company and their growth plans in the residential house building and hospitality sectors.  Managing director Gabriel Manley explains “The market is growing. If you look at Dublin, and we do most for work in the Dublin area, it is growing and planning permissions are rising and we hope to be able to pick up on that. We’ll probably do €7-€8 million of turnover this year but growth will be measured.”  This is good news for such an important industry player, which is good news for the industry as a whole.






  • “As an estate agency boss… you will be standing squarely in the opportunity to embrace a new way of doing business. The only question is, will you lead your firm to be a pioneer or a de facto prisoner of the future?“ via guest post on FUTURE: PropTech


  • PropTech, underpinned by #BigData, is already transforming the urban landscape. Big data operates on a variety of scales from individual people or devices, to buildings and streets, to urban systems and even to whole cities. #WBEF Read the report: ly/2tnm8fy



  • Irish Proptech company, and the latest property portal, is featured  in The Sunday Business Post today. The portal is focused on the Dublin area right now but intends to roll out a nationwide plan over the coming month or two.  Watch this space!


  • 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.


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