Sunday Property Round-Up, August 12th 2018 


Unsurprisingly, the broadsheets today are exceptionally light on business, construction and property content today after the short week and ‘builders holidays’. The Papal visit and Ryanair dominate the lead stories and much of the commentary, however, all of the main industry stories from throughout the week are linked to below.  As always, you might let me know if I have missed out on any relevant property news by emailing

If you missed last week’s Sunday Property Round-Up you can catch up here:



(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!)


Sunday Read


Why rents, not property prices, are best to assess housing supply and need-driven demand




What if houses were designed like bikes?


“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the factory-built Futuro House, it’s time for a radical rethinking of architectural manufacturing” (photo above)




The Agile Agent

Getting  Ireland’s property marketplace digital by default

Estate agents and auctioneers across Ireland have about 10 days left to apply for ‘The Agile Agent’ 12-month digital transformation programme, which will kick off in September. This programme will be delivered by a multi-disciplinary Irish and UK team and will go beyond proptech adoption to help agents get their industry digital by default.  The ‘buddy system’ is something that we have been trialling among a few existing clients in an informal way and when it works, that is to say, when trust is formed and real sharing starts to happen, it is great for both agencies. By the way, this is something that I encourage all agents (and all businesses for that matter!) to try out, it can be a great resource, like an experienced but objective sounding board.


For further programme details and free monthly Proptech Prompts, please



Other Property News


  • The Sunday Times reports that Apollo Global Management is in talks to buy hotel group Tifco, which is the second-largest hotel group in Ireland with 18 hotels.


  • Also in the Times, Seamus Ross is apparently “poised to quit talks with the quoted cash shell Zamano on a deal to reverse some of his residential property development interests into the outfit“.  We’ve been watching this story unfold and refold over the past few months, curious of what the impact of another publicly quoted Irish homebuilder would have on the marketplace. We will continue to watch.


  • Niall Molloy (Crag Digital Avoca, also Aldgate Developments) Is reportedly planning to build a new data centre  at a 32 acre site near Arklow in Wicklow.


  • Niall Brady  has an article in the Sunday Times today suggesting that, “the pace of mortgage lending is set to slow for  the rest of 2018 after Permanent TSB and KBC bank, the only banks still allowing exceptions from lending rules for first time buyers, tighten their credit requirements“.    This is contrary to the market commentary published by Davy in recent weeks which indicated that, despite a slowdown, mortgage lending in Ireland is set to rise by 20% by the end of 2018.


  • The Sunday Independent takes the most interesting approach to housing across its comments page today.  Wayne O’Connor  reports from Charlestown in County Mayo “roaring Ireland is not dying. Once again it is changing and adapting to a new world“. The reporter visits local businesses and interviews people on the streets of this town in the west of Ireland.  One local business owner interviewed summed it up quite well by saying “People are living here but their lives are somewhere else. They settled here but they might work in Castlebar or Westport. It is progressive in one respect, because people have three cars in the driveway. But people used to be coming into town all the time before and you don’t see that any more. You see it with the older generation but the younger generation coming up wouldn’t have the same ties to the community.“


  • On the same page the always-insightful Conor Skehan  writes that “Old Main Street is a dead end, let’s look for another way ahead“.  This commentary piece is uncharacteristically prose-driven  rather than laced with the usual rural housing statistics, however it makes for compelling reading and I recommend that if you only take the time to read one media feature today, let it be this one on page 14  of the Sunday Independent.


  • In the same newspaper Colm McCarty  asks the question “How can living in Dublin cost more than Geneva?“  it is very compelling question but no answer is provided. In an adjoining article, Niamh Horan  goes some way to explain this, attributing “Googleland“ rent hikes on “high-flying executives on six-figure salaries“.


  • Conall Mac Coille  writes that “Search and building costs and skills shortages can hammer State plans“. This commentary refers to the SCSI report issued last week (point below), which indicated building cost inflation of 7% for 2018.  This article focuses on increasing building costs, increasingly unreasonable or unrealistic targets set by Rebuilding Ireland and the difficulty in enticing our most recent wave of emigrants home. There is no mention of how technology across the industry is driving efficiencies in terms of the materials used, and how those materials are manufactured i.e. offsite construction, which requires significantly less labour.  At this stage, our policy makers need to be following international standards of best practice to facilitate and support offsite manufacturing in order to speed up delivery under Rebuilding Ireland.






















Proptech and Construction Innovation



  • International proptech accelerator open for applications: AcceliCITY

As recently reported, Proptech Ireland has been  selected to partner with Boston-based Leading Cities organisation to innovate technology-driven solutions for Smart Cities.  This is a massive leap forward for Ireland-based innovators, who will have the opportunity to pitch their planning, construction and property solutions to cities all around the world. It is also important validation for the work coming from this emerging sector.  This takes a decade of ‘Smart City’ initiatives to the next exciting level.  Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny was recently appointed to the Global Advisory Board and the global accelerator program AcceliCITY will now have a delivery based here in Ireland, in addition to the Boston program and Barcelona Smart City EXPO:











  • Are you an Irish-led or Ireland-based #proptech business?  If so, please take five minutes to add or update your details to our internationally-shared listing here: SIGN UP: and 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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