Sunday Property Round-Up, July 22nd 2018 


Before I start reviewing the newspapers, in her Ergo column in the Sunday Independent today, Samantha McCaughren has the inside track on a very big, global announcement coming this week from Proptech Ireland… You can read the prelude today or wait for the bells and whistles announcement later this week!


If you missed last week’s Sunday Property Round-Up you can catch up here:


Also, 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!)


Sunday Read  – ‘Forever Renters’


  • Louise McBride has a rental feature in the Money section of the Sunday Independent today, reporting that “forever renters” face potential poverty and homelessness in retirement, suggesting that “financial perils  await new generation of those who cannot afford their own home and will have nothing to pass on to loved ones”.  This is obviously part of a much wider conversation that has been ongoing for the last number of years and it is a conversation that is likely to continue. McBride points out the obviously unsustainable nature of forever renting but doesn’t actually provide an alternative solution so I will throw a few into the mix… The one important lesson we can learn from other jurisdictions  that do not have the same levels of home ownership as we have traditionally enjoyed here in Ireland, is that if you do not own your own home then you must be investing in an asset class that guarantees a level of appreciation equal to or greater than  inflation, together with an income yield sufficient to cover ongoing rent payments post-retirement.  One of the struggles I see in Ireland is that we cannot imagine housing, or indeed types of ownership,  that does not yet exist. I truly believe that hybrid solutions are emerging that will form the basis of different types of homeownership in the future –  we just cannot know what this will look like yet.


  • The following is an interesting article on ‘forever renters’ in an international context (shared via Chris Lynch at DwellDown – thank you!):


  • The Independent earlier this week confirmed that more than 1,000 frustrated tenants had already signed up to a new #proptech platform – within weeks of launch:


‘Moving home now comes at the touch of a Button: So far over 1,000 tenants have signed up to a new property management service from Property Button trying to make the moving process less painful for tenants.’:





The Agile Agent – getting  Ireland’s property marketplace digital by default

As mentioned last week, this been almost two years in preparation so I am genuinely delighted to announce that ‘The Agile Agent’ 12-month digital transformation programme for Irish estate agents will kick off in September. This programme will be delivered by a multi-disciplinary Irish and UK team and will go beyond proptech adoption to help agents get their industry digital by default.  The ‘buddy system’ is something that we have been trialling among a few existing clients in an informal way and when it works, that is to say, when trust is formed and real sharing starts to happen, it is great for both agencies. By the way, this is something that I encourage all agents (and all businesses for that matter!) to try out, it can be a great resource, like an experienced but objective sounding board.


For further details or to attend an information session please contact



Other Property News












  • Conor Skehan  has an opinion piece on page 10 of the Sunday Independent today with the headline ‘Sanity, Availability, Desirability: As we settle for different priorities, we will also settle in different places… Increasingly, it is the “true value“ of the house that counts’.  As regular readers here will know, I am generally an advocate of the outspoken and much-criticised Skehan. I believe that he is one of the few Irish industry ‘experts’  whose opinion is not in any way pandering or populist  and he is invariably  innovative in his approach to problem-solving,  unfortunately for him, it has become something of a State habit to only recognise this in retrospect.   In his most recent article,  he rightly points out that “increase in confidence, less negative equity, available cash and other factors are the real drivers of this increased supply of housing”. He is referring to the most recent CSO statistics, which show a levelling-off of house price increases and an increasing  volume of housing transactions.  He is quick to point out that, of the 2834 record transactions in May 2018, only a quarter of these related to newly-built properties.  The premise of this opinion piece is “Why do we keep obsessing about new house completion so when they’re such small part of the supply?“


This piece is too in-depth to synopsise effectively –  also, it is followed by an interesting perspective by Paddy Agnew on European models of homeownership – so I recommend picking up the Sunday Independent for page 10 alone!


  • If you need further convincing, Dan O’Brien has a commercial property analysis on page 17 of the same newspaper today with the headline ‘There is risk head, but let’s enjoy the good news while we still have it: Some unprecedented uncertainties have had only limited affects on a still try than Irish economy’. Among the risks he is referring to, he describes how “the problem for Ireland flowing from both Brexit and Donald Trump are not going away any time soon. There will be occasions in the weeks and months ahead to ponder the huge implications of the changes that are happening and will likely happen, owing to Britain’s rupture with Europe and Trump’s wanton undermining of the transatlantic order“.   On the positive side, Ireland’s construction sector is the fastest growing in Europe, according to the EU’s statistical agency,  with more commercial property now being built in Ireland then at the height of the economic boom.




  • Via Construction Information Services (CIS) : An Bord Pleanála Upheld Dublin City Council’s Decision to Grant Planning Permission for a €37.4m Hotel/Office Development in Dublin 8. Project Details:





  • Dan White  writes about the takeover of Sherry FitzGerald’s commercial property business to Cushman & Wakefield, it was previously the Irish partner of this US group: “While this was no shotgun marriage, with the Irish commercial property market red hot, the timing of the deal inevitably raised questions. When your broker sells should you follow suit?“



  • The lead business story in the Independent today is by Ronald Quinlan who writes “McKillen Jnr leading race to buy Clearys for more than €60 million: Talks between developer and Natrium chief Deirdre Foley “moving quickly”’.


  • Also in the business section, Fearghal O’Connor  reports that plans have been lodged for almost 800 homes in Hansfield, West Dublin by (separately) Garlandbrook and Joe O’Reilly.



  • Dell executive Aongus Hegarty  is the latest to voice his concerns about Ireland’s housing crisis, suggesting that  Global tech companies looking at new locations in Ireland need to be more flexible in their approach. In the interview with Samantha McCaughren,  Hegarty is quoted as saying “if companies think about it in a flexible way, trust me, there are plenty of locations, plenty of housing, plenty of talent out there“.


  • In the Business section of The Sunday Times today Mark Tighe  reports that the central bank has entered into “exclusive talks” with Ballymore to buy No 5 Dublin Landings.  Apparently Ballymore is seeking more than €100 million for the 9,594 m² office building, which is currently under construction on North Wall Quay.


  • In his Agenda column in the Times today, Brian Carey writes that ‘New breed housebuilders party like it’s 1999’.  He is referring to the latest round of fundraising by Glenveagh Properties last week to the tune of €205 million.  This investment is coming from international fund managers and is motivated, according to Carey, by “what teenagers call FOMO –  fear of missing out“. Ouch.  He refers to “experienced housebuilders such as Michael O’Flynn“ who believe that we are heading towards a development land price bubble and all that that entails, yet  this risk does not appear to be impacting international investors.


  • A separate article in the same newspaper reports that Glenveagh Properties has acquired a €4 million head office on Merrion Square.


  • Niall Brady has a short piece about Investec Ireland, which is in talks  for funding to make available mortgages to high net worth individuals, earning more than €150,000 per year.


  • In his column today, Nick Webb includes the Seamus Ross – Zamano speculation that I have mentioned here a few times in recent weeks. No white smoke yet…


  • The Sunday Business Post today has a Q&A session with Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Interviewer Hugh O’Connell  leads the interview by suggesting that the rise in homeless figures is seen “as one of the single biggest failures”.  Our Minister seems to accept that this is the failure, it is just not his failure… To be frank, the interview is not a fine moment for either party. Nothing new is learned and, at times, it reads (deliberately?) like a skit.







Proptech and Construction Innovation









  • Emoov CEO Russell Quirk : “918 new investors in the #Emoovment in just 2 weeks. We close the round on Monday at midnight and hope to reach our ‘real’ target of 1000 new Emoov advocates/future customers.” The UK online agent is currently crowdfunding via Crowdcube (I am not including the link as obviously I cannot advise on or encourage investment so this is an FYI share only).


  • To keep up-to-date on all things tech and innovation for the planning, construction and property industries, head over to, the national resource website for innovators, investors and mentors or email .



Property Insiders Guide


As many of you might know, my annual property book The Irish Property Buyers’ Handbook (since 2011) has undergone a rebrand for 2018 and will now appear as part of The Property Insider series, published by Oak Tree Press, the first three titles are now published and available here.


GDPR for Irish Real Estate Businesses


Comprehensive Guide to GDPR Compliance for Irish Real Estate Businesses  



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