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:
- Housing prices see first annual fall since 2012 https://www.rte.ie/amp/1103613/?__twitter_impression=true
- Our housing system is broken. We need to start again https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/our-housing-system-is-broken-we-need-to-start-again-1.4125426?mode=amp
- Record year for deal-making offers plenty to build on https://amp-independent-ie.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.independent.ie/business/commercial-property/record-year-for-deal-making-offers-plenty-to-build-on-38823946.html
- Government backs new €1bn Silicon Docks campus for Trinity College https://www-irishtimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.irishtimes.com/news/education/government-backs-new-1bn-silicon-docks-campus-for-trinity-college-1.4129082?mode=amp More on this: The government wants to make Dublin more like Boston, Barcelona and Paris https://www.thejournal.ie/innovation-district-grand-canal-dublin-4952426-Jan2020/
- Five key things to watch for the Irish economy in 2020 https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/five-key-things-to-watch-for-the-irish-economy-in-2020-1.4128797?mode=amp
- Three Ways We Can Innovate Our Way Out of The Affordable Housing Crisis https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2020/01/02/three-ways-we-can-innovate-our-way-out-of-the-affordable-housing-crisis/#22195317647e
- Looking Ahead At 2020’s Hot US Housing Markets https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenparis/2020/12/29/looking-ahead-at-2020s-hot-housing-markets/
- The Top 5 Fintech Trends Everyone Should Be Watching In 2020 https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/12/30/the-top-5-fintech-trends-everyone-should-be-watching-in-2020/
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…)
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 (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
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 hello@iPropertyRadio.com
PUBLIC CONSULTATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
- Dublin City Council CEO wants to sell sites instead of using them for social housing https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/dublin-city-council-ceo-wants-to-sell-sites-instead-of-using-them-for-social-housing-973553.html
- Conor O’Connell: Growth needs rapid investment in Cork https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/business/columnists/conor-oconnell-growth-needs-rapid-investment-in-cork-972888.html
- One man’s mission to stop Belfast flooding and make it look nicer https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/belfast-flooding-targeted-man-mission-17457043
- Built in the year 5618* and neglected for years, this Dublin landmark is slowly being restored https://www.thejournal.ie/jewish-cemetery-dublin-4939975-Dec2019/
- ‘A statement of national pride’ with 30-mile views: the unsuccessful plan to build Dublin’s Eiffel Tower https://www.thejournal.ie/millennium-tower-dublin-state-papers-1989-4935179-Dec2019/
- Neighbour objects to plans for former Anglo chairman Sean Fitzpatrick’s new home:
A new home planned by former Anglo Irish Bank chairman, Seán Fitzpatrick will negatively impact the residential amenity of nearby existing dwellings, an objector claims.
‘Neighbour Fintan Graham (chartered engineer) has lodged an objection against the Fitzpatrick application for Farmlane, Greystones with Wicklow County Council.’
- Concerns over large housing projects bringing extra traffic through Sallins https://www.kildarenow.com/news/home/505355/concerns-over-large-housing-projects-bringing-extra-traffic-through-sallins.html
- €2bn Dart expansion plans could see ‘elimination’ of level crossings https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/2bn-dart-expansion-plans-could-see-elimination-of-level-crossings-1.4128406?mode=amp
- SoJa Anyone? Plans Unfold for South of James Street | News | The Liberties Dublin https://libertiesdublin.ie/2020/01/02/soja-plans-unfold-for-south-of-james-street/
- 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*
CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT NEWS
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/developers-break-ground-after-eoghan-murphys-vacant-site-levy-threat-t63zvfjc8
- Developers have lodged plans for nearly 3,600 homes in four sites in Dublin and Cork: In Dublin, there are proposals for 995 apartments in Swords and 730 apartments in Ashtown.
In Cork, there are plans for 1,100 apartments in Centre Park Road and 753 homes in Ballyvolane.
- Ballymore Group has ‘active developments’ with projected value of €5.5bn https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/ballymore-group-has-active-developments-with-projected-value-of-5-5bn-1.4129906?mode=amp
- Plans lodged for 121-unit #coliving development in Dublin’s north inner city https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/plans-lodged-for-121-unit-co-living-development-in-dublins-north-inner-city-972609.html
- Marlet subsidiary refused planning for luxury Rathgar development: The area, which is located off Highfield Road and close to St Luke’s Hospital, has some of the most expensive properties in Dublin.
An Bord Pleanála said the proposed density of 22 housing units per hectare and the preponderance of four-bedroom houses would not provide an acceptable efficient use of serviceable land.
The board said the density was contrary to ministerial guidelines which generally recommend permission should only be granted for projects in excess of 30 units per hectare in urban areas.
- 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
- James Joyce Centre, Irish Georgian Society oppose Dublin co-living project https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/james-joyce-centre-irish-georgian-society-oppose-dublin-co-living-project-1.4129771?mode=amp
- Almost 450 homes planned for Limerick city site – Limerick Leader https://www.limerickleader.ie/news/planning/505086/almost-450-homes-planned-for-limerick-city-site.html#.Xgt_dEtcUDo.linkedin?refresh_ce
- Planning sought for Waterford spirit’s distillery permission https://www.waterfordlive.ie/news/property/505977/planning-permission-sought-for-major-waterford-spirit-s-distillery.html
- State to plough €50m into stalled Cork event centre project as new funding deal announced | IrishExaminer.com https://amp-irishexaminer-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/state-to-plough-50m-into-stalled-cork-event-centre-project-as-new-funding-deal-announced-973399.html
- Cork town set for significant housing development; 237 homes proposed https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/Cork-town-set-for-significant-housing-development-237-homes-proposed-d59ac29a-4289-49cc-8703-d5c380bbbf90-ds
- 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.
- Plans for massive builders’ compound to carry out expansion at Intel in Leixlip https://www.leinsterleader.ie/news/home/505939/plans-for-massive-builders-compound-to-carry-out-expansion-at-intel-in-leixlip.html
- 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.
- I’ve been polluting the planet for years. I’m not an oil exec—I’m an architect https://www.fastcompany.com/90435650/these-are-the-last-years-of-design-as-we-know-it
- 10 UK construction companies to watch in 2020 https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/contractors/10-companies-to-watch-in-2020-02-01-2020/
PROPTECH, MMC & CONSTRUCTION INNOVATION
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) https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/stuck-rut-could-have-whole-new-meaning-ralph-montague/
- Propmodo’s Biggest Real Estate Technology Stories of 2019 | Propmodo https://www.propmodo.com/propmodos-biggest-real-estate-technology-stories-of-2019/
- DWG, IFC, RVT, PLN? Most Common File Extensions in Architecture https://www.archdaily.com/930660/dwg-ifc-rvt-pln-most-common-file-extensions-in-architecture
- The advantages of Light Gauge Steel in construction #LGS #Offsite – horizonoffsite.ie http://horizonoffsite.ie/the-advantages-of-light-gauge-steel-in-construction/
- Irish-US accelerator seeks to raise $50m fund to back tech start-ups https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/irish-us-accelerator-seeks-to-raise-50m-fund-to-back-tech-start-ups-1.4126926?mode=amp
- Wearable tech could ‘transform’ construction | Article | KHL https://www.khl.com/international-construction/wearable-tech-could-transform-construction/141703.article
OTHER PROPERTY NEWS
- 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.
- Fallon & Byrne Rathmines, which closed suddenly last week, is understood to have owed a significant sum in rent and service charges to its landlord the Swan Centre.
Sources said that the upmarket restaurant and food market owed around €140,000 and had entered into a repayment plan towards the end of last year: https://amp.independent.ie/business/irish/fallon-and-byrne-outlet-owed-140000-to-dublin-centre-landlord-38834560.html
- Housebuilder Glenveagh tipped as best-performing stock of 2020 – but analysts remain divided on global economy: With property once again a national obsession, it is no surprise a property company – Glenveagh – was voted likely to be the best-performing Irish stock in 2020, according to the annual Sunday Independent analyst survey.
Whether this honour is more to do with the potential €700m it may return to shareholders than the 11,000 homes it plans to build is not clear.
- 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
- Developers now fear ‘flooding’ market as house prices in decline:
’House prices in Ireland have ended the decade in decline – which means developers are cautious about “flooding” the market with homes.
The average nationwide price of a house in the final three months of this year was just over €250,700, which is 1.2pc lower than a year ago, according to a report from Daft.ie.
It is the first calendar year that the website has recorded a fall since 2012.‘
- More on the above story: House prices in Ireland decline for first time since 2012 https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/house-prices-in-ireland-decline-for-first-time-since-2012-1.4126842?mode=amp
- Asking price inflation slowed to 0.72% in 2019 https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2020/0102/1103948-asking-price-myhome/
- House prices are flatlining across Republic, MyHome.ie report says https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/house-prices-are-flatlining-across-republic-myhome-ie-report-says-1.4128319?mode=amp&localLinksEnabled=false&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Hospitals+braced+for+post-Christmas+surge+in+attendances&utm_campaign=morning_briefing_digesti
- More than 4,000 mortgages approved in November https://www-irishtimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/more-than-4-000-mortgages-approved-in-november-1.4128999?mode=amp
- First-time buyers push up mortgage approvals – Independent.ie https://m.independent.ie/business/irish/first-time-buyers-push-up-mortgage-approvals-38830721.html
- ‘I’ve worked in senior management… I never thought I’d end up on the social housing lists’ – Letter from a working mother – Independent.ie https://amp.independent.ie/life/home-garden/homes/ive-worked-in-senior-management-i-never-thought-id-end-up-on-the-social-housing-lists-letter-from-a-working-mother-37835539.html
- Dublin City Council Begins 220 Investigations Into Airbnb Lettings | www.98fm.com https://www.98fm.com/news/dublin-city-council-begins-220-investigations-airbnb-lettings-944059
- Iconic Dublin store to close doors for good in 2020 leaving sad sign in window: One local argued “rents are way too expensive something needs to be done or there’ll be nothing left there soon”
- Switching mortgage can save up to three weeks’ wages a year – Independent.ie https://amp.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/property-mortgages/switching-mortgage-can-save-up-to-three-weeks-wages-a-year-38825849.html
- Just one Dublin business granted sandwich-board licence by council: The only licence issued so far has been to Basecamp, a sports equipment and clothing store on Jervis Street. Just nine businesses have made applications, but only two were correctly completed, with the council still assessing the second of these.
- UK company “interest” Naas Shopping Centre sale https://www.kildarenow.com/news/newsletter-kildare/505129/uk-company-interest-naas-shopping-centre-sale.html
- M7 acquires Dublin business park Primeside for €6.75m https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/m7-acquires-dublin-business-park-primeside-for-6-75m-1.4128719?mode=amp