Sunday Property Round-Up, July 29th 2018 

There is very little new/previously unreported industry news in the broadsheets today (holiday season is upon us) so I have added some extra commentary pieces and international articles.  If you missed last week’s Sunday Property 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!)


Sunday Read


As originally reported in the Sunday Independent last week and in various outlets this week, Proptech Ireland has been  selected to partner with Boston-based Leading Cities organisation to innovate technology-driven solutions for Smart Cities.  This is a massive leap forward for Ireland-based innovators, who will have the opportunity to pitch their planning, construction and property solutions to cities all around the world. It is also important validation for the work coming from this emerging sector.  This takes a decade of ‘Smart City’ initiatives to the next exciting level.  Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny was recently appointed to the Global Advisory Board and the global accelerator program AcceliCITY will now have a delivery based here in Ireland, in addition to the Boston program and Barcelona Smart City EXPO.



Proptech and Construction Innovation





  • Meyers Research, a Kennedy Wilson company, has partnered with leading analytics firm Orbital Insight to increase precision in measuring the pace of housing construction in the United States. Read more about the new national data partnership announced this week:


  • Incomplete, out-of-date land registry information could become a thing of the past. Read more on the implications of blockchain on Asia Pacific real estate.


  • #Blockchain Will Deliver a Smooth and Frictionless Leasing Lifecycle in CRE #proptech







  • JLL: In a short space of time, Proptech has moved way beyond the online property listings it first became known for:


  • Are you an Irish-led or Ireland-based #proptech business?  If so, please take five minutes to add or update your details to our internationally-shared listing here: SIGN UP: and 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 .



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


  • On the front page of the Sunday Independent Business today, Ronald Quinlan writes that ‘Estate agents “conflicted“ in Nama sales‘.  Upon review of a sample 70 assets undertaken by Comptroller & Order General,  it was found that more than one in every four transactions involved actual or perceived conflict of interest on the part of the estate agent.


  • In her Ergo column this week, Business editor Samantha McCaughren  reports that housebuilder Victoria Homes (Danny Whelan and Derek Byrne) has closed on a site in Knocklyon “where it hopes to build a clutch of high-and homes. It is not far from Corrybeg Way in Templeogue,  which was a very successful small development for the ambitious building firm”.  Also, according to the article, Victoria Homes “plans 850 homes in Carrickmines“.


  • And his column, Conall Mac Coille maintains that “rapid expansion in mortgage lending shouldn’t be seen as a red flag on the Irish economy… If housing demand exceeds 30,000 units a year, new loans to first-time buyers should ideally rise substantially above the 17,400 recorded last year”. He also point out that, of course, mortgage lending in Ireland is increasing from an incredibly low base in recent years.


  • In The Sunday Business Post today Jack Horgan-Jones reports that Nama has struck deals with 22 property developers, which apparently provide for debt restructuring  and profit-sharing worth €367 million.


  • Also in the SBP today, Ardstone Homes have apparently launched plans for nearly 550 new homes in Cork and Kildare.


  • Francesca Comyn Reports that Ballymore, U&I and Hines  are all in the running to partner with Diageo  for  Saint James’ Gate redevelopment. This will be an exciting project to watch unfold as this new urban quarter covers 12.6 acres of the city  and takes in many buildings of architectural and historical significance.



  • Ardagh Group’s  market value hit an all-time low on Thursday  after second-quarter results showed a decrease of 6%,  according to Gavin McLoughlin.



  • Anyone watching the unfolding contempt case of developer Garrett Kelleher in the US will be interested to learn that the warrant has now been withdrawn.




  • More than €1bn in Irish data centre investments in second quarter:












  • Businessman Harry Crosbie exits Nama with €7 million deal:



  • President Michael D Higgins says housing crisis must be debated ‘How should construction be financed? What mix of housing tenure do we collectively believe is appropriate?’











Commentary/Opinion Pieces

  • ‘With the ‘reit’ stuff you can rake in money:  tackling the housing crisis is difficult enough without Daft plans to “incentivise“ the private sector‘.  This is the opening gambit to Gene Kerrigan’ Soapbox  in the Sunday Independent today.   Hibernia Reit  and it’s individual founders and managing board –  their remuneration packages in particular-  are the subject of his  annoyance.   His criticism of the Housing Minister and those beforehand can be summed up in his statement that “the obvious thing to do was to follow the lead of the politicians of the 1930s and 1940s. Declare a housing emergency, take the reins and build solid, habitable houses at a steady rate. But that is against their ideological beliefs. Instead they find ways to incentivise the private sector. And the private sector, as it always must, did what It needed to do to maximise profit.“





International  Perspective






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.



Sign up to receive our weekly Sunday Property Round Up by email!


Sign up to receive Property District's weekly  Sunday Property Round-Up, for all the latest construction, property and proptech news straight to your inbox.