Sunday Property Round-Up, April 19th 2020

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Irish property market news and insights – for the industry, by the industry  





It has been a busier than expected week for industry news. Before we get stuck into the general property news of the week, below are the local and international stories that might be of particular interest: 





















If you missed last week’s round-up, you can catch up here: 


As always, you might let me know if I have missed out on any relevant property news by emailing



(Apologies in advance for any typos, it’s difficult to get good help on a Sunday. Also, I use voice to text dictation so just sound out anything that really doesn’t make sense in a strong rural accent and that should help!)







Property Matters: Ireland’s First Weekly Property Radio Show (& Podcast!):


Ireland’s first weekly property radio show, Property Matters, launched In January 2019 on Dublin South FM 93.9 and is now available internationally via iTunes and Spotify podcast ( The team delivers 60 minutes of industry chat weekly with guests from the areas of planning, construction, property and proptech. 

Produced by Katie Tallon of Hear Me Roar Media



Property Management, Resilient Industry Leadership & Digital Construction Solutions 


Joining us on Property Matters this week are:


  • Aisling Keenan, Managing Director of A.K. Property Services talks us through the challenges facing residents and property managers of multi-unit developments currently dealing with Covid-19 restrictions.


  • Valerie O’Keeffe, CEO of ClarityVP Consulting explains the importance of resilience for industry leaders during these challenging times and vital first steps in taking back control of our response to the crisis. 


  • Joseph Mady, CEO of Digital Construction Technologies Group (DCT) discusses how project owners are “leaving money on the table” by failing to embrace technology to project manage efficiently and how now is the time to seek out digital collaboration solutions.


Listen back to this and all shows on:


*Listen back to all #PropertyMatters episodes here: 


Email the Property Matters team at













  • Concern over planning process for controversial Cork housing project: 

    Coakley O’Neill Town Planning Ltd, on behalf of 1 Ash Grove Land Limited, applied to An Bord Pleanala for permission for a Strategic Housing Development of 237 units at Ringmeen, Cobh, which would be an extension to the Cluain Ard estate.

    There had been significant opposition to the development by a number of people in the area.

    The decision was due to be made and signed on Thursday April 9, however, An Bord Pleanala told The Echo the official documents wouldn’t be publicly available until the middle of this week.–c89ff1e4-aa8e-47b6-a378-4c63fcfb9d59-ds









  • Traffic concerns over plan for 105-unit apartment complex in Dalkey:  The former chairman of Independent News and Media, Leslie Buckley, says he has huge traffic concerns relating to plans for a 105-unit apartment complex planned for Dalkey in Dublin.

    Winterbrook Homes (Dalkey) Ltd lodged “fast track” plans with Bórd Pleanála earlier this year for the two- to four-storey over-basement apartment complex at Charleville, Harbour Road, Dalkey.

    Planning consultants for Winterbook say there is already approval for 49 units on the site, and that the increase in density is appropriate given the context of a site in a built-up area of Dublin with excellent transport connections and ministerial guidelines calling for increased density on in-fill urban sites.








*PLACEengage: The future of speedy, successful placemaking for property developers is here – Property developers and project owners ready Public Consultation are encouraged to contact the PLACEengage team for full details*










  • Coronavirus – Construction Industry Federation (CIF)

    The CIF Safety and Health Subcommittee, mindful of the best available guidance, nationally and internationally, has developed this document, Construction Sector C-19 Standard Operating Procedures which serves as a guide for the management of COVID-19 on a construction site for the duration of the pandemic. The actions set out in this document should be implemented in tandem with an amended Construction Stage Health and Safety Plan. The purpose of this document is to protect workers, their families and the community, whilst also recognising the need to protect livelihoods. The document has been endorsed by the Federation’s Executive Body for implementation.

    Simply put, this is the most important document the CIF has distributed to this point in terms of preparing your organisation to operate in the construction industry after restrictions are relaxed.



  • CIF calls for social housing work to be classed as ‘essential’: Industry body is eager to get housebuilding restarted after weeks of inaction


  • Coronavirus: New homes supply will be hit – and affordability too

    Efforts to address the ongoing shortage in the supply of new and affordable homes are likely to experience a significant setback as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

    With all construction activity other than the delivery of essential health-related infrastructure currently on hold, a new report from Deloitte suggests the fallout from the pandemic will continue to be felt in the residential property sector even after the threat of coronavirus recedes.

    Commenting on the expected impact, John Doddy, real estate lead at Deloitte, said: “The strong requirement for housing has not disappeared due to the current Covid-19 crisis, and, as we emerge from it, the implications could include delayed delivery of units, an impact on affordability as the economy contracts, a delay in the commencement of projects currently in planning and a slowdown in the release of phases in schemes currently under way.”




  • Builders may end up in complex disputes following suspension of most construction:

    Joseph McCaffrey, director of quantity surveyors Duke McCaffrey, said at the weekend that the delay resulting from the Government ban on all but essential construction could create difficulties for builders and their customers.

    “We would foresee a lot of contractual disputes on the horizon,” Mr McCaffrey warned.

    Building contracts set deadlines for the work to be completed, and many impose financial penalties for delays. The terms generally include exceptions to this, including force majeure, that is where circumstances beyond the parties’ control make it impossible to fulfil an agreement’s terms.

    Solicitor Fiona O’Neill, consultant in construction law with Dillon Eustace, said that builders and their clients should look at their contracts’ terms, including how the agreement defines force majeure.“See what the contract says,” she said.

    Ms O’Neill noted that a lot of agreements allow builders to apply for an extension of time.

    However, she warned that the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent suspension of work were so unusual that an agreement’s definition of force majeure may not cover it. “A lot of contracts have not been drawn up with this in mind.”

    Mr McCaffrey noted that builders working on State-funded projects were particularly fearful of the fallout from the coronavirus suspension.

    He explained that Government contracts had strict terms, and even though the State itself had suspended work builders were still concerned that they could end up facing penalties or other problems as a result.


  • Social housing construction needs to resume quickly, says builder:

    Townmore construction contractor has urged the Government not to impose a lengthy hiatus on social housing, healthcare facilities, schools, roads and utilities projects to deliver “critical infrastructure” and preserve economic stability to the greatest extent possible.

    Mark Cronin, associate director with Townmore, said that because the virus was likely to remain in circulation for a considerable time, construction sites would have to adapt to new ways of working, but it was feasible for sites to operate safely.

    “In construction, PPE [personal protective equipment] has been worn for years and years, so having to wear gloves, helmets and goggles is commonplace,” he said.

    “We are one of the few sectors that have full-time health and safety teams on site each and every day, and these staff would be well able to implement any Covid-19 instructions.” The project managers of each site are also trained in health and safety management he said.


  • Coronavirus: Dublin City Council continues social housing works:  Building work is continuing on some 80 Dublin City Council housing renovation projects, despite restrictions on construction imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Government shut down construction sites as part of the new tighter restrictions on movement to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

    An exemption has been put in place for the construction of “essential health and related projects” relevant to the coronavirus crisis. No exemption was made for general social housing projects.

    However, the council said it was continuing work on the renovation of “void properties” – social homes that are vacant and require refurbishment before they can be re-let to tenants.


  • In The Sunday Times – U+I zones in for Dublin’s Liberties housing bonanza:  An industrial estate that spans nearly three acres in Dublin’s Liberties area has been rezoned for residential development, unlocking a potential windfall for the UK property group U+I.

    The London-quoted group paid about €7m for the White Heather industrial estate, which fronts on to the Grand Canal and the South Circular Road, in December 2018. At the time, U+I said it could seek to have it rezoned for residential use in the next Dublin city development plan, which would come into effect in 2022.


  • Frascati developers move to double number of apartments on site:

    The owners of the centre, which recently underwent a reported €30 million programme of extension and refurbishment, have entered into a pre-planning consultation to build 105 apartments on the site located in Blackrock village.

    Planning permission was originally granted by both Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and An Bord Pleanála to IMRF II Frascati Limited Partnership to build a total of 45 apartments. Under that plan, three one-bedroom apartments, 36 two-bedroom apartments and six three-bedroom apartments would have been built.

    The plans, which included a first floor “podium level” car park, had the apartments located at the northwest of the site, bringing total car parking from 556 to 604 spaces.

    Now, the developers have moved to alter that permission and build 105 apartments. They have entered into a pre-planning consultation with An Bord Pleanála under the strategic housing development scheme. An application under this scheme allows them bypass the local authority and requires a developer to build more than 100 units.




  • Discovery of remains could impact apartment plans: With the find of skeletal remains on the riverbank of the Ward River, calls are now being made to ensure controlled archaeological digs take place in the area if planning permission is granted for a development of apartments.

    The skeletal remains, which are believed to date back to the 15th century, are of an ancient burial in the north Dublin town, possibly the remains of a child.

    Jacko Investments Ltd has applied for permission for the construction of 172 apartments on the site of The Lord Mayor’s pub in Swords.



  • Vesta Living to spend €85m on 290-unit block: Vesta Living, Ireland’s first entirely online rental platform, is to develop a 290-unit site in north Dublin as part of an investment worth around €85m.

    In an interview with the Sunday Independent, Rick Larkin, executive director of Vesta, confirmed that he had agreed to terms on a site near the company’s 376 units in Clongriffin, Co Dublin. The development is currently at the legal stage, which has been made difficult due to the pandemic, but he hopes to formally announce the new site “within the next few weeks”.

    “We have agreed terms on another piece of land for about 300 apartments quite nearby,” he said. “I can’t say where exactly, as we don’t have permission from the seller, but it is quite near [Clongriffin].


  • Trinity Street car park demolition plan hits legal snag: Dublin publican Paul Keaveny has written to Dublin City Council to object to Bashview’s plan to knock down the complex


  • Pioneer Point powers up with 15% stake in Echelon Data Centres: Pioneer Point Partners, a specialist European infrastructure investment company, has taken a 15% stake in the Irish data centre developer Echelon Data Centres.

    Echelon, founded by Dublin property developer Niall Molloy, is developing large data centres at Clondalkin, west Dublin, and at Avoca, near Arklow in Co Wicklow.

    Pioneer Point is believed to be investing in the company through a mix of loans and equity in partnership with global investment firm Davidson Kempner European Partners.





  • More Detailed Information Has Been Requested On Planning Application Lodged By Contractors Attached To Intel, Leixlip’s €3.6 Billion Development.









  • Carrigaline Western Relief Road – Construction Tenders Invited

    Cork County Council has invited all short-listed contractors to tender for the construction contract for the Carrigaline Western Relief Road. Tenders are to be submitted before the end of May 2020.

    Once the tender assessment process is complete, a contractor will be selected to undertake the construction of the Western Relief Road.





Cartoon by @Tom Fishburne of Marketoonist


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  • New auction platform targets customers for swift sales solution: Youbid is aimed at giving property vendors a quick sale in the midst of the coronavirus crisis






  • Find out why PropTech Market is thriving worldwide by Top key players like ATLANT, Bowery, Buildium, Enertiv, Flip, Foyr, hOM, Huthunt, No Agent, Opendoor – Bandera County Courier






  • Sales of Irish homes drop 13% in March:  Sales of houses and apartments fell by 13% in March, the latest figures on the Property Price Register show. Some 3,714 sales closed last month, compared with 4,287 in March last year, as the property market felt the effects of the Covid-19 restrictions.

    Sales have continued to close since the lockdown commenced, however, with 518 sales recorded in the first two weeks of April.

    Sherry FitzGerald, the largest estate agency in the country, expects further “contraction in activity in the coming weeks”. It said some sales fell through when the restrictions were announced, with buyers either withdrawing or asking for price cuts that vendors were unwilling to accept.





















  • Yew Grove properties ‘insulated’ from Covid rent defaults: Yew Grove Reit, the Irish property trust invested in offices and industrial holdings outside Dublin’s central business district, said it expects over 95 per cent of rent due to it in the second quarter to be paid as the Government, overseas groups and large corporates make up almost all of its tenant base.

    Still, the company has pressed the pause button on planned acquisitions until there is greater clarity on the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy and property market.





  • City centre retail properties sell for 12.5% above guide price:  Two buildings on Dublin’s Aston Quay and Aston Place went for €765,000 last week



  • Covid-19 and retail: A time for pragmatism and partnership: Turnover-based rents could be one way of helping retailers get through the tough times when the crisis has abated -Hugh Markey















  • Growing interest in Garden Rooms as a solution to working from home: The company has seen a spike in enquiries from people looking for a separate home office





















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