Sunday Property Round-Up, October 8th

We have a quick round-up today as most of the commentary this week is speculation!  The big pre-budget story in all the broadsheets today is how Paschal Donohoe the finance minister will target large property owners in Tuesday’s budget.


Stephen O’Brien political editor of the Sunday Times has a lead story headed ‘Donohoe to hit property giants for extra €400 million’.


The current 2% stamp duty rate on commercial property transactions is set to increase by up to 4 points  “in an effort to steer construction capacity away from commercial development and into private housing “.


This is deemed necessary by political sources to finance what is expected to be at €3 billion capital investment in housing, roads and schools over the next four years.


The minister is expected to reveal a plan to sell up to €5 billion worth of state investments  currently held by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) in order to provide finance for private sector housing developers.



 Iceberg in Georgian Dublin


Apparently contentious developer Johnny Ronan hopes to build a huge basement development under Fitzwilliam Square Terrace in Dublin 2.


The Sunday Times carries an image, or artists impression, of how Johnny Ronan’s planned basement development might look.


In many areas where high density is needed but skyscrapers have already been rejected by Dublin city council planners,  building basement developments might just be the solution the city centre needs. Other cities including London have seen a huge rise in basement developments despite local objections and concerns.   Building down is never a cheap solution rather it is an exceptionally expensive way to unlock already prime property values.


 Commercial property


Noting a frustrating year for local developers, Eithne Dunne writes that there is ” Nothing to broadcast for Dublin’s developers: apart from RTE’s  Blockbuster sale of part about the campus lack of sites means little action worth watching this year.”


Sites recently sold include the Palmyra collection of 20 houses on the 400 m² site in Galway which sold for €4 million, four acres in Malahide sold for excess of €2.25 million and 21.7 acres at Gormanstown Village, County Meath, which sold for €775,000.




Other property-related news


  • Justine McCarty writes that the ‘State prunes €17.2 million from annual rents bill’  after surrendering 375 boomtime leases for government departments and agencies.   These leases are in respect of office buildings that have gradually been replaced over the past eight years by 147 new leases with an annual rent bill of €27.6 million.


  • Davy, as IPO financial advisory firm to Glenveagh Properties, which is finalising plans to float in Dublin and London next Tuesday, stands to make €20 million in fees.


  • In a similar vein, Paddy McKillen’s Hume Street Management Consultants  was paid a fee of €5.6 million by Maybourne Hotel Group last year in respect of management services.


  • The American fund loan star has sought permission to build a large housing development of 102 houses and 96 apartments  in Portmarnock, North Dublin.


  • Page 4 of the property supplement today includes a featured look at Shankill in South Dublin.


  • Lorcan Sirr writes about ‘Housing policy’s shaky foundations’  making reference to the Goodbody report last week, which further undermined housing delivery figures provided by the Department of housing in relation to new builds.  Instead of 14,932 new homes completed in 2016 (using ESB connections figures), there appears to have been the much lower figure of 5,377 – that’s quite a big discrepancy and highlights the need for a change in policy around collecting and using construction data.



The Construction Industry Federation is holding its Annual Conference on October 12th at Croke Park with An Taoiseach, the Housing Minister, international industry leaders and tech speakers on the future of the industry.  For bookings head to




Property Basecamp hosted a very successful proptech meet-up earlier this week, attracting industry professionals from property developers to tech developers and a few forward-thinking estate and letting agents!  Attendees benefits from great insights into the early days of;  including early rivalries, the competitive advantage of being small and agile, future of property portals etc.  Also, in chat afterwards we discovered that buyers are already trying to purchase Irish property with bitcoin – which led to more questions than answers re: citizenship restrictions and anti-money laundering compliance issues… We’ re currently researching this and would appreciate any legal/industry advice on this.  It was interesting to see property developers engage with tech developers and innovators directly  and, bluntly put, it showed the importance of estate agents up-skilling in order to stay relevant in the face of digitisation, automation and AI.

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.

We are down to our FINAL free mentoring session for #proptech start-ups  this month and the list for November and December is now open – after Christmas we will have dates in January, February and March before this CSR initiative ends, email for details.

Property Insiders Guide


Oak Tree Press is launching the new ebook series for the Irish property market this week, here is a sneak preview before the official launch:

Also, as regular readers will know, the Irish Property Buyers’ Handbook is being updated for 2018 and I would love to hear about any experiences in the market or new services, technology and trends for buyers.   As always, you are welcome to email me with any industry news and updates at

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