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 iPropertyRadio.com, 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
- Home price slump may be over as market looks ready to stabilise – IPAV report – The property price slump may be over, according to a new report published exclusively in the Sunday Independent today.
Figures for sales achieved for the second half of last year show that prices nationwide are beginning to stabilise after two years of falling values.
Nonetheless, prices were continuing to fall in 23 of the 41 areas surveyed, while 14 markets saw prices rise, and four saw prices level off. This contrasts with figures for the first half of 2019 which recorded price falls in 27 local markets and price gains in 11. https://amp.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/property-mortgages/home-price-slump-may-be-over-as-market-looks-ready-to-stabilise-ipav-report-38918122.html
- 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.
- Colette Bennett: Housing is public need that can’t be supplied by private sector https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/analysis/colette-bennett-housing-is-public-need-that-cant-be-supplied-by-private-sector-977839.html
- Property special: Best new homes | Business Post https://www.businesspost.ie/residential/property-special-best-new-homes-f1bac16f
- Property agent appeals in legal doubt over ‘disqualified’ chairman https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/high-court/property-agent-appeals-in-legal-doubt-over-disqualified-chairman-1.4149455?mode=amp
- Two major property funds hit with significant withdrawal of cash https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/two-major-property-funds-hit-with-significant-withdrawal-of-cash-1.4156861?mode=amp
- Aviva stops investors from taking money out of Irish property funds: Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland moved on Friday to stop investors in two Irish commercial property funds withdrawing money for up to six months after dealing with a rise in demand in recent months from investor seeking their money back.
The funds have a combined value of €940 million and include assets such as the Blackrock Shopping Centre in south Co Dublin, the Royal Hibernian Way shopping arcade in the city centre and the Globe Retail Park in Naas, Co Kildare https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/aviva-stops-investors-from-taking-money-out-of-irish-property-funds-1.4157574?mode=amp
- Link to buy Pepper European Servicing unit for up to €200m https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/link-to-buy-pepper-european-servicing-unit-for-up-to-200m-1.4157379?mode=amp
- Calls for ‘more ambitious’ green housing goals – New Civil Engineer https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/government-urged-to-set-more-ambitious-green-housing-goals-27-01-2020/
- What are the best construction projects in Britain? – New Civil Engineer https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/what-are-the-best-construction-projects-in-britain-27-01-2020/
- The Future of Architecture: Why Modular Construction Will Take Over the World – Architizer Journal https://architizer.com/blog/inspiration/collections/the-future-of-architecture-why-modular-construction-will-take-over-the-world/
- UK perspective – Is housing design and planning safe in the Tories’ hands? https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/feb/01/westferry-printworks-london-docklands-robert-jenrick-tory-housing-policy-roger-scruton-living-beauty
If you missed last week’s round-up, you can catch up here: https://propertydistrict.ie/category/sunday-property-review/
As always, you might let me know if I have missed out on any relevant property news by emailing email@example.com.
(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 (www.iPropertyRadio.com). 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: https://anchor.fm/ipropertyradio
Email the Property Matters team at hello@iPropertyRadio.com
PUBLIC CONSULTATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
- Regional training for OMC volunteer directors delivered by the The Housing Agency Ireland – full details at www.housingagency.ie. Listen back to the full radio interview at www.iPropertyRadio.com
- Dublin is the 6th most congested city in Europe https://www.thejournal.ie/dublin-traffic-congestion-4985027-Jan2020/
- One of the most air-polluted places on the planet is in Ireland |Sonitus Systems
- Expertise of Dutch required to save Kerry beach, meeting hears https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/expertise-of-dutch-required-to-save-kerry-beach-meeting-hears-978992.html
- Residents challenge permission for 10-storey block of apartments in north Dublin https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/residents-challenge-permission-for-10-storey-block-of-apartments-in-north-dublin-978090.html
- Plans to revitalise Limerick’s main thoroughfare took a step forward this week.
Limerick City and County Council has published contract tender documents for the €9m first phase of the upgrade to O’Connell Street.
The project aims to breathe new life into the area for pedestrians and residents and redefine its role as a ‘destination’ within Limerick City.
- Judge dismisses challenge to housing development after residents fail to include names and addresses in appeal https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/judge-dismisses-challenge-to-housing-development-after-residents-fail-to-include-names-and-addresses-in-appeal-978251.html
- Application to build 25 townhouses in Killarney appealed to An Bord Pleanála | Radio Kerry https://www.radiokerry.ie/application-build-25-townhouses-killarney-appealed-bord-pleanala/
- Dwyer family brings City Life back to quays of #Cork city https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/property/dwyer-family-brings-city-life-back-to-quays-of-cork-city-978706.html
- 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
- Builders call for end to ‘frivolous objections’ to boost Cork construction https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/Builders-call-for-end-to-frivolous-objections-to-boost-Cork-construction-46e08795-0669-4058-bce6-f78ed086bb3b-ds
- Wicklow Company Avoca Facing Legal Fight Over South Dublin Outlet https://www.eastcoast.fm/news/wicklow-news/wicklow-company-avoca-facing-legal-fight-over-south-dublin-outlet/
*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*
CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT NEWS
- 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 https://www.businesspost.ie/property-insight/planning-is-a-political-issue-and-its-crucial-for-our-future-8abced8a
- Construction sector in danger of overheating – report https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0130/1111862-construction-sector/
- 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].” https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/city-centre-pubs-and-apartments-to-be-bulldozed-for-marlets-college-square-2h3f0lqtv
- ‘We need to invest in Cork’ say builders, planners and architects https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/lifestyle/homeandinteriors/we-need-to-invest-in-cork-say-builders-planners-and-architects-978956.html
- ‘The building boom is back. It took us 14 months to find a builder’ https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/the-building-boom-is-back-it-took-us-14-months-to-find-a-builder-1.4156244?mode=amp
- Developers get go-ahead to build 290 apartments at Citywest despite Dunnes Stores objection https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/developers-get-go-ahead-to-build-290-apartments-at-citywest-despite-dunnes-stores-objection-978809.html
- 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.
- Council green lights company’s plan to seek permission for €100m ‘Kildare Village’ style Cork retail centre https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/council-clears-way-for-100m-kildare-village-style-retail-centre-on-outskirts-of-cork-city-978002.html
- Plans for a new medical centre and shop units in Naas https://www.leinsterleader.ie/news/news/512375/plans-for-a-new-medical-centre-and-shop-units-in-naas.html
- Cork’s iconic Thompsons Bakery to rise again in different guise: “The Thompson Bakery building on Cork city’s MacCurtain Street is not just a slice of local history — it’s almost the full sliced pan, spanning three centuries of heritage, and now visibly risen to renewed glories.”
- Cork’s newest bar and brewery unveiled as part of MacCurtain Street development https://www.corkbeo.ie/news/property/corks-newest-bar-brewery-unveiled-17658619
- Planning refused for North Cork crematorium https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/planning-refused-for-north-cork-crematorium-978014.html
- Ireland’s longest bridge opens after 2.5 million hours of work https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/irelands-longest-bridge-opens-after-25-million-hours-of-work-978548.html
- Waterford holiday park development given the green light https://www.waterfordlive.ie/news/fun—games/513149/waterford-holiday-park-development-given-the-green-light.html
- Construction is in demand – but who’s going to do all the work? | Gene Marks https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jan/30/construction-business-2020-demand-survey
- Why flexible working could be the answer to gender equality in construction https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/agenda/inspire-me/why-flexible-working-could-be-the-answer-to-gender-equality-in-construction-28-01-2020/
- 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 https://www.businesspost.ie/companies/glenveagh-aims-to-forward-fund-dublin-docklands-site-31e3af7d
- 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 https://www.businesspost.ie/residential/fast-track-housing-scheme-review-tells-some-home-truths-f3ec3225
PROPTECH, MMC & CONSTRUCTION INNOVATION
- 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 *
- Snapfix CEO Paul McCarthy wins New Frontiers Lead Entrepreneur award! https://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/snapfix-paul-mccarthy-new-frontiers-lead-entrepreneur-award
- Is low-cost obsession stalling offsite procurement? – horizonoffsite.ie
- ‘The Google of Estate Agency’ – firm recruits 100 for call centre https://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2020/1/agency-recruits-100-for-call-centre-and-says-it-wants-to-be-like-google
- Robot Spot starts work on Canadian site https://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/spot-the-robot-starts-work-on-canadian-site
- Tinder-like platforms paving way for proptech revolution – Smart Property Investment https://www.smartpropertyinvestment.com.au/management/20643-tinder-like-platforms-paving-way-for-proptech-revolution
- The startups trying to disrupt the $25 billion business of moving https://www.axios.com/future-moving-technology-6364e183-b8fb-4db8-8310-523f04f065f6.html
OTHER PROPERTY NEWS
- Price stabilisation in property market in 2020 – SCSI https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2020/0131/1112130-price-stabilisation-in-property-market-in-2020-scsi/
- Irish property prices forecast to fall in bank stress tests https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/irish-property-prices-forecast-to-fall-in-bank-stress-tests-1.4157946?mode=amp
- IPAV chief Pat Davitt: “We can’t drive down the price of new homes without transparent building costs: Impediments to building affordable homes and rules which prevent young people on average incomes from buying one have led to property stagnation” | Business Post https://www.businesspost.ie/property-insight/we-cant-drive-down-the-price-of-new-homes-without-transparent-building-costs-dfb49e71
- “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: https://www.businesspost.ie/property-insight/sales-success-in-dublin-market-will-depend-on-realistic-pricing-2ef53bc6
- 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 https://www.businesspost.ie/property-insight/its-time-for-some-alternative-thinking-on-housing-692f58eb
- ‘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 …
- Typical household wealth has risen to €184,900 – but renters are losing out and we are seeing another fall in home ownership rates https://m.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/typical-household-wealth-has-risen-to-184900-but-renters-are-losing-out-38912546.html
- Has fairytale Kerry castle found a buyer at last?
- 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. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/property-investors-flip-out-as-dolphin-trust-freezes-funds-k7hg77scb
- 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.
- Service firm for 60,000 mortgages sold to Link
- Dublin housing ‘horror’ for Tipperary students https://www.tipperarylive.ie/news/property/513079/dublin-housing-horror-stories-for-tipperary-students.html
- First time buyers continue to drive mortgage market https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2020/0129/1111625-banking-payments-federation-ireland/ More on this: First-time buyers made up most of the 12,000 mortgages drawn down in last quarter of 2019 https://www.thejournal.ie/mortgages-first-time-buyers-ireland-4983142-Jan2020/
- Threshold: Landlords trying to get round Rent Pressure Zones with additional fees https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/threshold-landlords-trying-to-get-round-rent-pressure-zones-with-additional-fees-978481.html
- Dublin’s ‘Silicon Docks’ residents see average pay rise to €127,000 https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/dublin-s-silicon-docks-residents-see-average-pay-rise-to-127-000-1.4154434?mode=amp
- Former home of The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan goes up for sale in Dublin https://www.irishpost.com/news/former-home-cranberries-dolores-oriordan-goes-sale-dublin-178274
- An Post has moved a step closer to leaving its historic home at the GPO in Dublin after narrowing down its search for a new head office to two schemes being built on the capital’s north docks.
The semi-state body has shortlisted the Exo building at Point Village and office space at the North Dock scheme, which is under construction beside the 3Arena at North Wall Quay. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/exo-and-north-dock-schemes-deliver-for-an-post-s-exit-from-gpo-kph60qrft
- 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 https://www.businesspost.ie/residential/100-luxury-apartments-in-capital-dock-are-vacant-one-year-on-a44265c4
- 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 https://www.businesspost.ie/commercial/private-nursing-home-deals-expected-to-hit-100m-in-2020-83238811
- Marlet snaps up 1.8 acre Sandyford site for €17m https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/marlet-snaps-up-1-8-acre-sandyford-site-for-17m-1.4154026?mode=amp
- What sold for €437k and less in Dún Laoghaire, Artane and Drumcondra https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/what-sold-for-437k-and-less-in-d%C3%BAn-laoghaire-artane-and-drumcondra-1.4149097?mode=amp
- Henderson Park seek €400m+ for prime Dublin office blocks https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/henderson-park-seek-400m-for-prime-dublin-office-blocks-1.4152009?mode=amp
- SeaPoint Capital pays €7.2m for Dublin 15 apartments https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/seapoint-capital-pays-7-2m-for-dublin-15-apartments-1.4152952?mode=amp
- German fund acquires planned office space on former PJ Carroll’s site https://www-irishtimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/german-fund-acquires-planned-office-space-on-former-pj-carroll-s-site-1.4157436?mode=amp
- Knotel accelerates Dublin expansion with two docklands deals https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/knotel-accelerates-dublin-expansion-with-two-docklands-deals-1.4149119?mode=amp
- High-quality dairy enterprise on 144ac available for purchase in the ‘Golden Vale’ https://www.agriland.ie/farming-news/high-quality-dairy-enterprise-on-144ac-for-sale-in-the-golden-vale/
Docklands Residential Report
Estate agent, Owen Reilly (https://www.owenreilly.ie), 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.