Sunday Property Round-Up, August 5th 2018

Predictably, the bank holiday weekend industry coverage is quite light in the broadsheets today so I am taking the opportunity to share a few of the more obscure, international perspectives I have come across recently with you – you will definitely need a coffee or perhaps a sneaky afternoon pinot noir to get through all this.  Also, if you missed last week’s Sunday Property Round-Up you can catch up here:

It has been a particularly good week for those involved in construction and property technology, see below for an extended proptech news section today.

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!)


Sunday Read  (warning, this might ruin your bank holiday buzz)


Opinion: Why agents must change – or wither on the vine 


“…The likes of Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket all offer an online shop window and widened access to properties.

In the process they have also demonstrated how increasingly the “service” that estate agents provide is often not required by the buyers, at least not until the latter stages of a transaction, and in the process have stolen the estate agents’ lunch from under their noses…”



Other Property News








  • Irish companies storming the sector globally, we’re calling 2018 the Year of the Data Centre. Read John Hunt on the top trends shaping the Irish Advantage in construction:


  • BIM is a growing source of competitive advantage for Irish construction companies in international markets. Read about the benefits:   com/news/benefits-of-bim/#IrishAdvantage







  • Profit and revenue up at John Paul Construction

Turnover up 25 per cent last year as operating profit rose 40 per cent for Irish builder:





  • In The Sunday Times today, the “log cabin“ debate continues as Dublin City Council reports an increase in the number of households seeking planning retention for large sheds in gardens that are providing housing for family members.  This is perhaps not surprisingly, given that a two-bedroom cabin including electrical and plumbing fit out, can be purchased for €35,000 –  which is about the annual rental on a three-bed family home in South Dublin!


  • Gavin Daly reports that Cairn Homes “Is advancing plans for almost 350 apartments on a prime site at Griffith Avenue in North Dublin, after consultations with An Bord Pleanála“.


  • Chairman of Risk Capital Partners and the Institute of Cancer Research, Luke Johnson, has an opinion piece in the Times today claiming that “when the business cycle turns, WeWork’s model just won’t work“. Hmm… I could not disagree more with this and cannot understand the logic in his argument.



  • In the Sunday Independent today we have another case of NIMBY-ism.  Interestingly, the appeal to An Bord Pleanála  after Dublin City Council  granted planning permission for a neighbour’s redevelopment is attributed to Steve Carson, rather than to him and his wife – Miriam O’Callaghan.  It is unfortunate that the state broadcaster has to deal with the issue of NIMBY-ism at all, given the prevalence of its employees in such occurrences…


  • As regular readers here will know, I am an advocate of alternative forms of housing, both for long and short term. Today in the Independent, Niamh Horan  writes about a plan by developer Harry Crosbie  to develop a row of modern pods along the Wexford coastline.  These huts or pods are intended for use as a modern-day retreat for the world’s leading thinkers. This sounds like a fascinating project and I look forward to watching it unfold.



  • The lead business story in the Independent today is that Google continues to increase its footprint in Dublin’s Docklands  with the long-term leasing of Dennis O’Brien‘s former Esat HQ.


  • Samantha McCaughren reports that Cork home-builder Minkbury (Dan and Denis O’Flynn) is planning a 228-bed student development close to CIT.


  • In The Sunday Business Post today, the never ending saga of the “ransom strip“ at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay  held by Johnny Ronan (officially Chambury) to the detriment of Pat Crean (Balark and Marlet) continues.  While a High Court appeal found in favour of Crean, the battle over a €1.15 million legal costs claim continues, with the latter now seeking to replace the liquidators at Chambury.  The case will continue after the summer recess.






  • #digitalplacemaking is about more than urban communities:New research says young people are the key to thriving rural communities, Farming Today – BBC Radio 4


  • 5 Reasons Why Dublin Is Becoming One of the Best Urban Agriculture Hubs



  • As Google Maps Renames Neighborhoods, Residents Fume #digitalplacemaking




The Agile Agent – getting  Ireland’s property marketplace digital by default

Irish estate agencies ready to embrace digital change have another two weeks to apply for the  ‘The Agile Agent’ 12-month digital transformation programme, which kicks 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 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. Throughout the duration of this programme, we will make available a set of general proptech prompts and monthly check-ins so that agencies not ready for the programme in 2018 can start their own digital transformation journey.


For further details contact



Proptech and Construction Innovation


  • International proptech accelerator open for applications: AcceliCITY

As reported last week, 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:



  • Which can perform better for property buyers – regulation or technology? A mix perhaps? Via HonestyHub


  • Excellent initiative- well done David and the #Property Bridges team!

Unlocking the property market for investors



  • In the SBP today, proptech start-up Realli is featured by Roisin Burke. The start-up aims to rival and, and is currently raising funding to scale up, in Ireland and beyond.


  • The many uses of blockchain and cryptocurrency for real estate or asset-backed tokens — the way forward for cryptocurrencies to go mainstream?





  • Data equals big business on Wall Street and for #proptech companies

Hedge funds are willing to shell out major bucks for alternative data, while proptech firms search for evangelists to mine it:


  • Leading Austrian hotel developer trusts in digitalization: “Saving time is the biggest benefit” – Blog


  • Dumbest Anti-Modular Statement Ever Made





  • 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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