Sunday Property Round-Up, April 1st 2018

Happy Easter!

As expected, the property and construction news across the broadsheets is quite light today.  Below is a catch-up on the stories that caught my attention earlier in the week, together with some of the industry stories from the broadsheets today.   For housing news, the Sunday Independent is definitely the newspaper to pick up 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 – especially over a bank holiday weekend!)


Sunday Read


Philip Ryan in the Sunday Independent today reports that Barry Cowen has been appointed Fianna Fáil’s public expenditure and reform spokesperson – Darragh O’Brien will replace him as housing spokesman.


The following is  an overview of some of the changes he is likely to “demand“:


  1. A SSIA-style savings scheme for first time buyers
  2. A recognition of rent payments in mortgage approvals
  3. Increased funding for social housing construction
  4. More site taxes to be introduced for developers hoarding land
  5. An affordable home purchase scheme and an affordable rental scheme on state owned land
  6. Property tax and commercial rates reductions for landlords
  7. A major clampdown on Airbnb lets
  8. Enhanced investigative powers for the Residential Tenancy Board



The article goes on to say that “It has been suggested by Fianna Fáil sources that Mr Cowen will be tasked with collapsing budget talks with Fine Gael”.



Trending Property Story


Student accommodation update via Niall Gargan of Construction Information Services (CIS):

“As we near the end of Q1 2018, the supply line of student accommodation for the rest of the year can be calculated. 81 bed-spaces were completed in Co. Galway in January 2018 and another 1,949 around the republic will be completed by the 31st December 2018. This bring the total of new student accommodation bed-spaces to 2,030 for 2018.


The majority of completions will be carried out in July and August, in time for the next academic year. Co. Dublin accounts for 66% of bed-spaces (1,306) and the 1/3 will be in Co. Cork and Co. Galway.


With monthly rents going for around €1,000 – €1,200 per month, and the reusing of facilities for tourism during the summer months, it can be easily seen why developers are going for these builds. Student Accommodation gets more tenants in a single space due to the use of communal facilities and the relative speediness of construction due to the nature of building in blocks.


The rising demand in 3rd level education and the scarce supply of affordable rents in the Republic’s major cities will mean that the sector will remain a sound investment for developers in the coming decade.”


Other property news




  • On page 6 of the Sunday Independent today, Ronan Lyons has an article discussing how the lack of new homes has seen property prices “rocket across the board“. There is also a breakdown of the “hottest“ areas for house price increases. Unsurprisingly,  most of these areas are in and around Dublin or the Greater Dublin Area.  Counties close to the border account for half of the 20 “coldest” places in terms of property pricing.


  • Apparently data centre provider Equinix has lodged a planning application to demolish existing commercial buildings and develop a state-of-the-art data centre on a large site in Blanchardstown, owned by Sean Gallagher’s Clyde Real Estate.


  • In The Sunday Times today, Brian Carey writes that DCC House and site in Stillorgan  is expected to come to the market shortly. This is prime development land in South County Dublin with the potential for up to 450 apartments. Glenveagh Properties and Cairn Homes are expected to lead the bidding.


  • On the front page of  The Sunday Business Post today, Michael Brennan reports on government plans to cut commercial rates. New legislation will be drawn up for the rates relief scheme,  with the potential for up to 100% write-off in some cases. This will be funded through the taxation of vacant commercial properties –  I am interested to see the detail of this as I know that many commercial properties are vacant because of the financial chaos of the owner or owning group, not to mention the lack of tenant demand. Taxing these properties to provide for lower rates  might not necessarily make sense…



Industry happenings




  • Via City Lab: Urbanist lessons from the densest neighbourhoods across Europe al/tPergDk






  • “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 for FUTURE: PropTech :





  • 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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