Sunday Property Round-Up, December 2nd 2018 


Unlike last week, this has been a relatively quiet week in terms of property and industry news.  If you missed last week’s Sunday Property Round-Up, which was our busiest to date, you can catch up here:



  • Also, it would be entirely remiss of me to curate a Property Round-up without noting that a protest to highlight the housing crisis has taken place in Dublin City centre this weekend with up to 10,000 people estimated to have taken part. As an industry, it is time to listen to the people:


  • And, speaking of listening to the people…New Chief People officer at Bank of Ireland: ‘Bank of Ireland has appointed Matt Elliott to the role of Chief People Officer at the lender.’


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

PropTech in Ireland 2018 via FUTURE:PropTech

“The Irish proptech scene is nowhere close to coming of age, however, after a painful start, it’s first teeth are clearly visible. It’s incredibly exciting to be a part of this unfolding.”


Placemaking  – Public Consultation and Community Engagement


First up, I am delighted to see that our PLACEengage placemaking platform has been shortlisted for the Facilities Management Awards 2019 amongst such illustrious company!



  • How Europe’s cities are overhauling their docklands | JLL Real Views




  • All is not lost – the civic plaza at College Green should still go ahead




Other Property News



  • Brendan Burgess, writing an opinion piece in the Sunday Independent today speaks to home buyers: ‘If you can’t buy a house, blame the Government, not the Central Bank’. While I agree that the Central Bank lending restrictions (90% LTV for FTBs, within 3.5 times income) are not entirely to blame, I’m not sure that all fingers point to Government policy. It is unhelpful to let property consumers believe that there is no personal responsibility or accountability. He does make one excellent point about the disjointedness and lack of cohesion between successive ministers and junior ministers – Ireland needs a cross-party property policy-maker so that long term visions can be agreed upon and executed over time, irrespective of the leadership party o f the day.


  • In the business section of the Independent today, Michael Cogley reports that €750m funding, which will be distributed by House Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) is expected to be extended “at least 5%” interest on construction loans. This initiative is expected to finance 6,000 homes. We will wait to see how this unfolds.


  • After a presumably-frustrating week on the planning front in Dalkey, Richard Barrett’s Bartra Capital has been given the go-ahead to demolish the guesthouse at 98 Merrion Road, with a view to developing a 20-unit, 5-storey development on the site.


  • The lead story in The Sunday Times today confirms that the ‘Report on Anglo trial collapse to stay confidential’. For anyone following this saga, The Sunday Business Post has the most comprehensive coverage today.


  • The lead business story by Niall Brady reads ‘Banks bribe house hunters to delay drawing mortgages: Lenders offering up cash and lower rates to avoid breach exemption cap’. This essentially means that the lenders have used up all their discretion so any mortgages that require this discretion or an exemption from Central Bank lending restrictions will need to be pushed out until early 2019.


  • Brian Carey, writing his Agenda column takes a differing view; he maintains that the Central Bank lending restrictions “will keep young city-dwellers out of the housing market”.


  • Also in the Times today, Activate Capital is set to increase lending by €250m in 2019, this will bring total lending to €550m.


  • In The Sunday Business Post today, Jack Horgan-Jones has an interesting article, quoting Kennedy Wilson’s Peter Collins (one of Ireland’s most prolific landlords) as saying that the data on record-high rents is “not accurate” as it refers to new tenancies only i.e. not existing tenancies.


  • Michael King has an important feature in the business section of the SBP about, what he refers to as, ‘The great cashback mortgage trap: Like many marketing gimmicks, cashback mortgages aren’t what they’re crack up to be. In fact, even economists might argue they should be banned.” This is definitely worth a read if you are applying for or switching mortgages this year.







  • Emigrants returning home facing barriers to housing and social welfare



  • I see there is also a great write-up about this innovative company in The Sunday Business Post today – well done and continued success to the Zoobox team! This was actually our featured Sunday Read last week – here it is again for anyone who missed it: Irish start-up wins contract worth nearly €3m to supply pre-fab homes to Canada:


  • Hibernia Reit gets green light for €100m plan at Harcourt Square







  • The property section of the SBP today focuses on not the housing crisis, but the talent crisis. This is something that I have covered here over the past year – usually in a construction context. However, through Property District’s Agile Agent programme of digital transformation for estate agents we know that finding and retaining experienced and licensed property  professionals is a problem for all estate agencies, irrespective of whether they are based in cities or rural areas. As part of this feature, there is a property sector salary survey, that might genuinely surprise people…



Agile Agent: 12-month digital transformation programme for independent estate agents and auctioneers across Ireland

Getting  Ireland’s property marketplace digital by default




To get involved and for free Proptech Prompts, please




Proptech and Construction Innovation


  • 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: PROPTECH INNOVATORS 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 .












  • Agents embracing fees ban set to succeed long-term says PropTech chief





Crowd-sourcing:   New Facebook Group for Irish Property Buyers & Investors


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.

For the first time, the 2019 edits will be crowd-sourced and will include home-buyer and investor queries, with crowd-sourced and editorial team answers. Join the Facebook Group here to contribute:


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