Sunday Property Round-Up, January 5th 2020

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


Firstly, Happy New Year to all!

The broadsheets today are dominated by coverage of the untimely passing of broadcasting legend Marian Finucane, the persistent wildfires across Australia and 2020 political predictions. The Sunday Times has an excellent Property Price Guide for Dublin with lots of interesting features and commentary by local residents. Also, the Business Post has the best coverage of new plans for Grand Canal, together with a thought-provoking placemaking feature inside the magazine: 


  • Grand plans for Googletown
    Google has transformed the area around Barrow Street in south-east inner-city Dublin with office developments and staff accommodation. The company is now looking to grow to accommodate 10,000 workers in the area. But is the small community that has lived there for generations in danger of being squeezed out?



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…)





l-r: Bryan Fox, Carol Tallon, Tommy Drumm of Collen Construction


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:


We will be putting together our guest and content line-up for the New Year schedule (starting back January 14th 2020), all suggestions welcome!  Email the Property Matters team at







































  • SoJa Anyone? Plans Unfold for South of James Street | News | The Liberties Dublin





  • Noise Limit Rules for Wind Farms | Sonitus Systems






*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


  • In The Sunday Times today, Developers break ground after Eoghan Murphy’s vacant site levy threat: Builders have started construction on 50 housing developments around the country after being threatened with millions of euros in local authority levies on vacant sites.

    Eoghan Murphy, the housing minister, said the vacant sites levy had arrested the increase in development land prices and forced developers to break ground on dozens of dormant sites, since it was raised from 3% to 7% of the market value of the land last year.

    His department confirmed the number of sites now under construction following the issue of levy warnings had risen from 42 in November to 50 at the end of 2019.






  • Ronan scales back plan for his D4 party pad: The developer wants to add an office to his Magical Embassy Villa, but has halved the amount of space it would take up after Dublin City Council raised concerns


  • Legal row over redevelopment of Iveagh Markets continues:  Developer Martin Keane claims Dublin City Council could carry large costs if the proposed project fails after 15-year impasse:


  • Also in the Business Post today, Killian Woods reports: House that sparked eviction of activists set to become a ‘co-living’ complex: Housing and community activist group Take Back the City occupied 34 Frederick Street North for several weeks in August and September 2018









  • Harry Crosbie’s 1,500-seater south-east arena gets funding:  A 1,500-seater mini-arena in the south east has finally secured funding with construction to begin in spring, according to Minister of State at the Department of Finance Michael D’Arcy.

    The project has been six years in the pipeline and will be the biggest mini-arena in the south east. It will open in March next year.

    Although developer Harry Crosbie was told by Wexford County Council last year that his “services were no longer required”, the Dublin property developer is now firmly back at the centre of the project as the venue operator. Local builders Thomas and Patrick Redmond have come on board to fund the development.



  • First licence issued for facilitating reuse of construction waste:  The Environmental Protection Agency has issued its first licence to process large volumes of Irish construction and demolition waste. The licence, issued to Panda waste management company, will facilitate its reuse as a product in road construction.

    In Ireland, close to zero construction and demolition waste is recycled. Due to the continued classification of these materials as “waste”, the only outlet previously available was disposal at “non-hazardous” landfills. Separately, there are persistent environmental problems with the level of illegal dumping of such waste, especially in isolated rural areas.






Jim Urell, Property Button


  • 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 * 





  • Property software business fights back after sale collapses:
    Property Button (led by Jim Urell, above) undergoes restructuring after outside bid to buy firm falls through


  • From Ralph Montague of Arcdox:  “Stuck in a Rut” (this could have a whole new meaning)








  • The lead story in the Sunday Independent today by Philip Ryan reads ‘Varadkar seeks property tax deal in election talks’: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has insisted on reaching agreement on property tax reforms with Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin before agreeing on a date for the forthcoming general election, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

    In a letter sent to Mr Martin before Christmas, the Taoiseach suggested he was open to dissolving the Dail after Easter, as suggested by the Fianna Fail leader, if he agreed to an “ambitious” legislative programme for the coming months.

    Mr Varadkar said agreeing to reforms of the property tax system should be central to any deal struck between two party leaders, who are expected to hold talks on an election date in the coming days.


  • Thousands of homeless use post office as mail address: Almost 3,000 homeless people around the country use a local post office as their home address to receive mail because of the scale of Ireland’s housing crisis.

    New data reveals the spread of hidden homelessness across the country, with many people unaccounted for in official figures because they stay with friends and family.

    The statistics show higher volumes of people in rural areas using post offices as an alternative because they have no home address.




  • The lead industry story in The Sunday Times today by Gavin Daly reads ’Flat developers plot a building blitz on Dublin and Cork’:  Several of the country’s biggest property groups are gearing up for new developments of thousands of apartments in Dublin and Cork, with virtually all of the proposed properties targeted at the lucrative rental market.

    In the closing days of 2019, property development groups opened talks with An Bord Pleanala about fast-track approval for projects involving almost 5,000 apartments, far outweighing proposals for new houses. Property sources said an average apartment cost about €350,000 to develop, suggesting investment of €1.75bn in the projects.

    The largest of the schemes is being advanced by the quoted homebuilder Glenveagh Properties, which has just started a consultation with the planning board about building 1,100 apartments on the former Ford depot in Cork city.


  • Nick Webb in The Sunday Times today reports on this story from the Independent last December: ‘Gunne shoots off to London with new UK property vehicle’: Green Reit founder and serial property entrepreneur Pat Gunne is set to launch a new property investment vehicle in London called 3RE Capital Ventures, Ergo understands.

    Alongside fellow founder Stephen Vernon, Gunne completed the sale of real estate investment trust Green Reit to Henderson Park for €1.34bn last month.

    It is understood Gunne will now focus on his own real estate investment vehicle, 3RE Capital Ventures, which has an address in the Mayfair area of London and another address in Dublin.


  • In the Business Post today, Roisin Burke has an interesting feature on ‘What 2020 has in store for retail’, looking at game-changing innovation and a host of other challenges and potential opportunities for the sector.


  • Clarity on lending rules and Brexit should help stabilise property market
    Uncertainty over these issues meant a sluggish market in 2019, but it is hoped that 2020 will see more activity


  • Suburban offices up the ante to attract millennial talent:
    Two types of demand are driving the trend of large companies choosing to base themselves in Dublin’s suburbs

















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