Sunday Property Round-Up, February 2nd 2020

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


It has been a bumper week for property market news and analysis. The Sunday Independent has a nationwide feature, detailing house prices and apartment prices in every county in Ireland. Also, the Business Post has a new homes special that will be of interest to anyone house hunting in 2020.





  • The Ronan Group takes another shot at Dublin City Council’s planners with a provocative half-page advert in the Sunday Independent and The Sunday Times today (pictured above).  Development director of Ronan Group, Gary Cooper, recorded a one-hour interview with ‘Property Matters’ on, which will air next Tuesday evening. Here is a taste of what you can expect from our discussion: 






Before we get stuck into the general property news of the week, below are a few local and international stories that might be of particular interest: 




  • Property ladder has become a fool’s game:  “The rise and fall and rise again of household wealth in Ireland is almost entirely driven by the trajectory of property prices. To fix the problem, we have to stop treating our homes as financial assets”
    Aidan Regan| Business Post
















  • How these first-time buyers got their home deposits for free:  In Liverpool, instead of saving a lump sum, some aspiring owners are paying off their deposit by working on their soon-to-be homes.

    Some first-time buyers shaved £10,000 off their deposits by undertaking manual labour, described as “sweat equity” by the developer, doing everything from painting walls and adding insulation to designing the website.














  • Property special: Best new homes | Business Post




































































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 ( Seasoned political broadcaster, Bryan Fox, and I (Carol Tallon) team up to deliver 60 minutes of industry chat with guests from the areas of planning, construction, property and proptech. Produced by Katie Tallon of Hear Me Roar Media


*Listen back to all #PropertyMatters episodes here:



In the Property Matters studio this week, we are joined by CEO of IPAV Pat Davitt, National Sales Manager of TopCon Positioning Ireland, Karol Friel and CEO of Property Button, Jim Urell. 



Listen back here:–January-28th-2020-eai995





Email the Property Matters team at








  • ‪Regional training for OMC volunteer directors delivered by the The Housing Agency Ireland – full details at Listen back to the full radio interview at  ‬












  • One of the most air-polluted places on the planet is in Ireland |Sonitus Systems


































  • Application to build 25 townhouses in Killarney appealed to An Bord Pleanála | Radio Kerry














  • Stars out to stymie Howth apartment scheme:  More than 80 locals have objected to plans for 512 apartments to be built at the entrance to Howth, including Ann Acheson, partner of U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr, and Janet Banville, wife of Booker Prize-winning author John, writes Colin Coyle in The Sunday Times today.

    Atlas GP, a subsidiary of construction firm Marlet, wants to transform the derelict Techrete factory site into a series of apartment blocks rising to eight storeys. The development, spread across 6.6 acres, will also include a cafe, restaurant and retail units, with 439 parking spaces and 1,335 bike spaces.

    Acheson, who lives on Claremont Road, said the amount of car parking proposed was “excessive” and would overload the local road network. She claimed the retail units would have a negative impact on the village





















*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*







  • Planning is a political issue – and it’s crucial for our future:  “Greater investment in the system is essential if politicians are to deliver on their election promises and avoid another boom/bust cycle”
    Dr Conor Norton | Business Post





  • Google frustrated as it awaits Boland’s Quay completion date from BAM | Construction of the flagship €300m development was due to be finished in October 2019, but the tech giant has been given no completion date yet 



  • City centre pubs and apartments to be bulldozed for Marlet’s College Square:  The property group Marlet plans to demolish a block of apartments and two pubs to enlarge its College Square development in Dublin city centre.

    Marlet, headed by Pat Crean, has sought approval to demolish the buildings at the junction of Tara Street and Townsend Street, including the Brokerage apartments, Ruin Bar and the vacant Long Stone pub. Marlet said it had recently acquired apartments in the Brokerage from their individual owners. “We are now looking at designs for the overall integration,” it said. “This enables one uniform new development [on the site].”









  • Glenveagh eyes 2,500 homes at Central Mental Hospital site in Dundrum:  Glenveagh Properties is considering a deal to develop up to 2,500 homes on the site of the former Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum in south Dublin.

    The listed property group included the prospect of developing the 35-acre site — which is in the hands of the newly formed Land Development Agency (LDA) — among a “pipeline of existing opportunities” in a presentation to investors at a capital markets day last week.













  • Ireland’s longest bridge opens after 2.5 million hours of work









  • Glenveagh aims to forward fund Dublin docklands site:  The property company’s two-hectare site near the IFSC will probably be sold into the private rental sector



  • Fast-track housing scheme review tells some home truths:  The Strategic Housing Development initiative was introduced to speed up construction of new homes, but a number of key players, from state bodies to developers, have suggested it is making little difference 








  • From smart design and planning right through to the smart property transaction, where does your Irish-led or Ireland-based proptech  or MMC business sit? Pease take five minutes to add or update your details to our internationally-shared listing here: SIGN UP HERE: *PROPTECH INNOVATORS and STARTUPS * 













































  • “Sales success in Dublin market will depend on realistic pricing: A solid year is likely to lie ahead, with demand keeping prices stable” according to Paul Grimes of REA Grimes writing in the Business Post today:








  • It’s time for some alternative thinking on housing:  Government intervention is urgently needed to increase supply in every sector of the market –
    Hannah Dwyer| Business Post









  • ‘We need a truly holistic approach to housing in Ireland’:  This year, our annual half-year, or H1, new homes listings for Dublin and the commuter belt include just over 140 entries, the most since the economic recovery began, but with construction costs still rising and demand far outstripping supply, affordability is still an issue for many people looking to buy …






















  • The lead business story in The Sunday Times reads: ‘Property investors flip out as Dolphin Trust freezes funds’:  The troubled Dolphin Trust investment scheme has frozen payments indefinitely to 1,800 retail investors in Ireland, telling them it hopes to recover their money after receiving a buyout approach for its property assets.

    The promoter of the unregulated scheme, which has attracted €107m from Ireland, has warned that investors risk losing everything if they try to foreclose on its properties, which it plans to redevelop into luxury apartments in Germany. Founder Charles Smethurst, who drafted in restructuring specialists CFE after Dolphin Trust ran into cashflow difficulties, said investors in Ireland could not be paid ahead of those in other states.








  • Increases in stamp duty by Paschal Donohoe during his time as finance minister account for most of the exit penalties imposed by property funds last week.

    The budget hikes raised stamp duty on commercial property to about 11%, which funds normally include in property valuations. The funds strip out the stamp duty, however, when investor outflows force them to switch temporarily to a disposal basis of valuation.

    This resulted in overnight reductions last week of about 7% in the value of property funds run by Irish Life and Zurich, and 9% for funds managed by Aviva and Friends First.

    The cuts are decided by actuaries to ensure that investors remaining in property funds are not forced to pay all the costs of disposing of properties









  • Jeff Stokes and Pia Bang put property revamp on the menu:  They were given a €12m debt write-off after their restaurant and property business went bust in 2017. Now Jeff Stokes and Pia Bang, who formerly owned the Unicorn restaurant in Dublin, are selling their €1.2m period home in Kilternan and building two properties in its grounds — one for themselves and the other for one of their sons.

    Stokes and his Danish-born wife, who once owned the Pia Bang boutique on Grafton Street, were allowed to keep their home, the Mill House on Enniskerry Road, when the High Court approved a deal in which they agreed to pay creditors €145,000 in return for a €12m debt write-off. Most of the payback went to Dunbar Assets, formerly Zurich Bank.

























































  • In the Business Post today: €2.9m Galway multi-let retail building is star of BidX1 auction
    Commercial and residential units in Dublin, Limerick and Castlebar also go under the hammer in two major sales









  • 100 luxury apartments in Capital Dock are vacant one year on| Business Post









  • Private nursing home deals expected to hit €100m in 2020:  Institutional investors are attracted by predicted demographic pressure due to our ageing population | Business Post
























































Docklands Residential Report


Estate agent, Owen Reilly (, published his firm’s annual Dublin Docklands Residential Report earlier this week. Below is his summary of the more interesting data from 2019:


  • Average selling price was €483,875. Average price per sq. ft. was €623, down 3.85% on 2018.
  • Prices up to €400,000 are up 2.4% and prices above €700,000 are down 3.8%.
  • For the first time the majority of our buyers are owner occupiers
  • Average salary of our tenants increased by over 8% to €127,618
  • YOY rents increased 5.3%.
  • Only 8% of tenants in Docklands are Irish nationals
  • 55% of our tenants work in the technology sector
  • Average monthly rental is now €2,479, 20% higher than the Dublin average
  • Rental yields for investors have improved to 6.2% and we expect they will improve further given the Docklands work force will double in the next two years.




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