Sunday Property Round-Up, January 19th 2020

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




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: 



































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:



John Egan BIMLauncher, David Rouse Housing Agency, Carol Tallon Property District & Barry Cull AIB


For our first show of the decade, we were joined in the Property Matters’ studio by AIB’s Barry Cull, Head of Homes in South Dublin, David Rouse, Multi-Units Development Advisor for the Housing Agency and John Egan, CEO of Bim Launcher to discuss homebuyers mortgages, owners’ management companies and construction technologies for 2020.

Listen back here:–January-14th-2020-ea7gq7 



Email the Property Matters team at







  • In the Business Post today: FG’s Mitchell O’Connor lobbied to end own party’s fast-track housing scheme: Mary Mitchell O’Connor filed submission calling her government’s Strategic Housing Development ‘undemocratic’





































  • In The Sunday Times today: The owners of Dublin city centre car parks have objected to the Liffey Cycle Route and say that if it goes ahead they should be compensated for loss of earnings.

    One of the options they propose, if access to city-centre car parks is further “restricted”, is compulsory purchase by the council of their car parks at the market value they held prior to the introduction of traffic management restrictions in 2015.

    Their proposals were made as part of a public consultation into the Liffey Cycle Route, a 5km fully segregated cycle track running the length of Dublin’s quays, from the Tom Clarke Bridge, beside the East Link, to Heuston station…




*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*







  • Irish Construction Data 2020: A pilot project will be kicking off in the early new year to collect Irish construction projects data in order to build industry big data. Property District is partnering with Dr. Houssem Jerbi and the team at Smart PMO to use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to develop industry collective intelligence to improve Irish construction. The predictive data analytics will help de-risk projects through reducing delays and cost-overruns. This is an industry first for Irish construction, providing participating organisations with new, unique insights and the opportunity to benchmark individual project/organisation data against the market, essentially revealing the strengths and weaknesses of live projects and optimising projects KPIs. I will be sending an email to contractors and cost/project managers shortly, if you are interested in getting involved in this pilot project in 2020 please email




  • Planning sector in line for ‘profound changes’ due to climate crisis: Planners must advocate for environmentally sustainable work with their clients and communities, says new president of planning body  | Business Post



  • Ballymore Properties has been approved for more than €17m of funding by Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI), making it the biggest borrower yet from the state fund, which was designed to keep credit flowing for house construction.

    HBFI has broadened its scope in the past year beyond smaller builders to include some of the biggest names in the construction industry, such as Ballymore, which is controlled by international developer Sean Mulryan.

    “We’re here to support anyone where finance is not available,” said HBFI chief executive Dara Deering. “In some cases this will mean lending to larger developers.”






  • One of the lead business story to end the Sunday Independent today reports ‘Echelon agrees land deal for new €500m Arklow data centre’:  Echelon Data Centres has agreed to purchase a site at the Kish Business Park in Arklow as it looks to develop a second data centre in the Co Wicklow town.

    It is understood that Irish-owned Echelon’s newly acquired site covers 60 acres of land, with development expected to be undertaken in two phases. The first phase could see the construction of a 100MW, 450,000 sq ft data centre.

    A second phase is understood to have been earmarked for either further data centre development, or for the generation of renewable power.


  • Amazon orders its next data centre at Meath business park: US tech giant Amazon is expected to invest up to €360m in a data centre in Drogheda.

    A planning application was recently submitted to Meath county council to construct a two-storey, 28,570 sq m data storage building at IDA Drogheda Business and Technology Park on a 19.5-hectare greenfield site.

    An environmental impact assessment report submitted as part of the proposal shows that Amazon Data Services Ireland, the main Irish arm of the online giant, will operate the facility.





  • Plans for 92 new homes on Red Barns Road appealed to An Bord Pleanála – Talk of the Town




  • An Bord Pleanala gives green light to north Kerry windfarm | Radio Kerry









  • Grafton’s strong foundations hold key to weathering Brexit pressure – Brexit has clobbered building materials distributor Grafton Group, as the continuing uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU ensures that many of its British customers are keeping their hands in their pockets. Issuing its full-year trading statement on Tuesday, the company revealed that, while full-year like-for-like sales at its UK merchanting operations would be up 0.6pc, its UK merchanting sales would be down by 4pc for the last three months of 2019.

    After a very good first half, when UK merchanting like-for-like sales grew by 2.8pc, sales flat-lined in August. Then, as the political uncertainty peaked, customers reined in major expenditure, in anticipation of a ‘hard’ Brexit.

    With UK merchanting generating more than two thirds of Grafton’s total sales, any downturn impacts on the entire group, with an annual 1.9pc increase in group-wide like-for-like sales being transformed into a 1.8pc decrease for the final three months. It now expects sales from continuing operations of £2.67bn (€3.1bn) and pre-interest operating profits of £202m for 2019.




  • Also, in the Sunday Business today, Townmore construction contractor appoints James Godley as Managing Director as group turnover grows to €86m (image below).







PLACEengage: Placemaking tools for property developers and local authorities


  • 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 * 





  • Two property heavyweights back challenger Realli:  Cairn Homes founder Kevin Stanley and Bartra Capital’s Richard Barrett have contributed to the start-up’s most recent funding round – “accumulated losses to rise to €310,000“ | Business Post




















  • One of the lead housing stories in the Sunday Independent today: ‘Fianna Fail’s €10k giveaway plan for first-time buyers’: Fianna Fail is pledging to give first-time buyers €1 for every €3 they save for a mortgage as part of a radical new plan to make home ownership a reality for thousands of young families.

    The new SSIA-style savings scheme would be capped at €10,000 per person and run in conjunction with the Help to Buy scheme which the party would expand to allow homeowners claim up to €25,000 from the State off the cost of a new house.

    The Fianna Fail policy would mean a first-time buyer could potentially get up to €35,000 in State support when buying a new home if Micheal Martin’s party was in Government after the General Election.












  • Sale of home loans dominated Irish NPLs in 2019: Irish banks sold €5.8bn of bad residential mortgages last year, significantly outstripping sales of other non-performing loans (NPLs) for a second year, including those of commercial property and developer lending.

    Data from information service Debtwire shows Ireland has slipped down a European ranking of the most-active markets for sales of bad loans, with Italy and Spain now the biggest and second biggest sources of bad loans.

    It reflects the fact that the bulk of bad, boom era, land and development loans at Irish banks have long been sold off.








































  • Lisney appointment David Byrne as new Managing Director – Property Matters 







  • Property queen Beeny has ‘millions’ in collapsed estate agency: She is renowned as one of Britain’s foremost property experts, appearing on television series such as Help! My House Is Falling Down.

    Yet the Channel 4 presenter Sarah Beeny, 48, has been left with a complete wreck when it comes to selling her own business, Tepilo, an online estate agent, which she founded in 2009.

    Two years ago her company merged with a rival, Emoov, which collapsed into administration just seven months later.

    Tepilo is owed £8.7m as part of an “intercompany loan”, according to documents relating to the administration filed this month at Companies House.

    Beeny is listed as one of the company’s largest shareholders, having been issued with equity, rather than cash, after the merger.






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