Sunday Property Round-Up: March 10th, 2019


Good afternoon folks, it has been a busy week or two, but what a time it has been! From chairing the Urban Development Conference to joining our Housing Minister, An Bord Pleanala and Ronan Group Real Estate discussing rising building heights in Dublin at a WPCI event ( – right through to meeting  TY students in Newpark Comprehensive and then mentoring university student start-ups through DCU Ryan Academy, I am exceptionally proud and grateful for these opportunities to help shape our industry at such a pivotal time of change.



And this does not even mention the joyful array of industry events celebrating International Women’s Day 2019 – many thanks to the team at Construction Industry Federation (CIF) for an inspiring event.


I was also delighted to join a stellar line-up of ladies to mark IWD the Hear Me Roar Media way, thanks to CEO Emma Hayes for including me and for sharing words of wisdom (and a few lessons learned the hard way!) for aspiring female entrepreneurs:



On a more reflective note, this is why I, and the Property District team, do what we do and I am personally grateful to the industry for the support over the past decade and a half. On April 1st, our growing team will move to offices at Lake Drive, Citywest where we will have better video facilities, better views and better parking – we look forward to welcoming you there!


For anyone heading the National Construction Summit in Citywest on Thursday, please do make your way to The Data Centre and Critical Infrastructure Expo where I will be hosting a panel discussion on Attracting, Creating and Retaining Talent for the Industry, with a special focus on data centre construction, thanks to Garry Connolly and the Host In Ireland team.


Now, back to the business in hand, if you missed last week’s Sunday Property Round-Up, which was full of industry and tech/innovation news, you can catch up here:


Before we get stuck into the general property news of the week, below are two stories that might be of particular interest…


  • Last Sunday, despite the snow and blizzard conditions, 1,000 delegates come together for a Fine Gael convention in Clonmel. Unexpectedly. An Taoiseach spoke about his vision for rural Ireland (not universally popular with the party but makes a lot of sense): Fine Gael has ‘a vision and a plan’ for rural Ireland, says Varadkar


  • Opinion: There is a good reason why nobody plays golf in Manhattan


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 Listen:  #PropertyMatters Tuesdays 6-7pm


Property Matters (L-R): John Kennedy of 4Property, Fiachra Morrison of Dublin Hypnosis & Therapy Centre, David Jelly of Property Bridges with co-hosts Bryan Fox and Carol Tallon


Ireland’s first weekly property radio show, Property Matters, launched In January on Dublin South FM 93.9 and is now available internationally via iTunes and Spotify podcast (@iPropertyRadio). Seasoned political journalist and broadcaster, Bryan Fox, and I (Carol Tallon) team up to deliver 60 minutes of industry chat with guests from the areas of planning, construction and property.


Guests this week include: Ray O’Neill of Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill discussing the property market in West Cork; David Jelly of Property Bridges who described the scale of opportunity for property development funding via peer-to-peer; John Kennedy of proptech 4Property explains how estate and letting agencies have had to adapt to changing times and increasing property consumer expectations; and Clinical Hypnotherapist Fiachra Morrison of Dublin Hypnosis & Therapy Centre joined us to talk about the importance of mental health awareness, wellbeing and coping with everyday stress  for members of Ireland’s planning, construction and property industries.

March 5th show:–March-5th-2019-e3cupu


*Listen back to all #PropertyMatters episodes here:



Public Consultation and Community Engagement


  • Subscriber Only: David McWilliams: ‘Contented classes’ could be biggest threat to Irish economy


  • Liberties protest at site of proposed ‘rock and room’ hotel



  • Hunt on to find owner of County Limerick castle



  • Planning permission granted for the construction of eight two-storey houses in Carlow


*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 teamfor full details*




Other Property News


  • Mortgage Broker Michael Dowling is quoted in one of the lead stories in the Sunday Independent today, explaining why he believes the Central Bank mortgage exemptions are likely to run out over the next few weeks. This is quite an important story for any prospective buyer who might be sitting on an AIP, with a exemption. Getting this renewed might not be an option so, please, check your AIPs ASAP!


  • Also in the Independent, a call has been made by Ronan Lyons for the Central Bank lending rules to be “relaxed’ to allow energy-efficient upgrades in newly purchased homes.


  • Niamh Horan has a fitting tribute to ‘Low-key architectural genius [Kevin Roche, who] was anything but conventional’ on page 18 of the Independent. This is definitely worth a read for anyone familiar with his work.


  • Page 21 of the Sunday Independent today is, quite frankly,  essential reading for the industry. Firstly, Colm McCarthy writes ‘A failure of policy and politics lies behind a self-inflicted housing crisis’. While the ever-thought-provoking Conor Skehan writes ‘Why do so many things go wrong with public projects? Answer: they don’t’. He showcases some of the most successful public projects of the past 25 years.


  • Richard Curran reflects that “the housing market has gone truly mad. Not good mad or even bad mad. Just a bit crazy…”. He is trying to reconcile why lenders are not throwing money at developers and home buyers when demand so seriously outstrips supply. And yet, when I speak to Property District developers and contractor clients, some new developments are not selling out. Payments are that bit later. Tenders are that bit less confident. In fact, one guy almost whispered to me that he thinks we are actually back IN recession but the industry doesn’t seem to realise… I would very interested to hear your thoughts on this, email


  • In the business section of the Independent, Michael Cogley reports that first-time buyers have claimed over 142 million euro in VAT rebates through the help-to-buy scheme.


  • Fearghal O’Connor reports on ‘Job plan targets construction sector shake-up: Wide-ranging report aims to set out vision of cleaner, greener Irish workplaces’. This is from the Future Jobs Ireland 2019 report, which we will be circulating to clients this week.


  • There is an unmissable feature  by Michael Cogley in the Independent today (page 5 of the Business section), ‘Viability stings as developers tussle with soaring sites’. “Construction workers are tabling pay claims as the red-hot land market undermines the viability of sites”.


  • In the Property section of the Independent today, there is a feature for homeowners ‘7 Ways to get the highest price on your property’. If you are thinking of selling or if your residential property is languishing on the market, these tips might come in handy! The most important tips are to price correctly (or correct your price), declutter, boost BER and have legals prepared in advance.


  • In The Sunday Times business section, Brian Carey reports that Bain Capital has emerged as the preferred bidder for Newmarket Quarter (old Blenders site) in the Liberties. DCC has committed to investing 3.2 million euro in the regeneration of the public spaces there.


  • In the same newspaper, Gavin Daly reports that Pembroke Partnership Ltd has lodged a revised/extended planning application for it’s Donnybrook site, (former Magdalene laundry) from 25 units to 44. (This story also appears in the SBP in an article by Killian Woods).


  • The same journalist also reports that Ardstone Homes has sold two sites in Leixlip and Newbridge to Glenveagh Properties.


  • Niall Brady has a grim feature in the Times today on Ireland’s ‘Disappearing Property Ladder’.  He makes reference to the Cairn Homes and Glenveagh Properties 2018 financial reports that seemed to provide for “almost unlimited demand from first-time buyers for as long as it remains economically feasible to construct and sell homes for 300,000-350,000 in Dublin and the commuter belt”.


  • The Sunday Business Post has an excellent feature  on diversity within the construction sector; ‘Trading Places: Meet the women changing the narrative in the Irish construction industry’. In ‘She Built That’, Sarah Taafe-Maguire profiles Sally Jean Doherty, apprentice joiner carpenter, Sisk; Lorraine Brady, design & bid manager, Bam Ireland; Rebecca Hughes, health and safety adviser, Designer Group; Sara Phillips, sales manager, Tremco Illbruck; and Jenny Thompson, painter decorator Kelly & Thompson. Please take the time to read this and show it to your teenagers (and pre-teens, male and female!).


  • Johnny Ronan makes the lead story in The Sunday Business Post today for his letter to DCC (from January 2nd) in which he “warned of the threat to thousands of jobs at US tech giant Salesforce by claiming there could be another ‘Apple fiasco’ if he is not given permission to increase the height of his ‘mega-tower’ in the Dublin Docklands“.


  • In the same newspaper, Roisin Burke reports that the High Court will allow a legal challenge to Paddy McKillen jr’s proposed 50-unit apartment complex at the Union Cafe site in Mount Merrion.


  • The same journalist reports that ‘Bartra ramps up co-living plans despite local authority pushback’. (This is following on from a planning decision we reported on last week).


  • Also in the SBP today, there is a lengthy feature on construction fire safety standards and a finding that ‘developers overturn fire safety rules 75% of the time: Ibec and Ires Reit have lobbied government on any new fire safety regulations’. This is continued in the Post section (page 4) and is worth a read.


  • Ian Guider has a feature on page 11, ‘Building Blocks: Despite Cairn Homes doubling output and revenue, housing supply is nowhere near meeting demand – and there’s no quick fix available’. This feature raises quite similar observations and questions as Richard Curran’s piece above, with no answers, unfortunately.


  • In the SBP property section today, there is an interview with Dawson Stelfox about the restoration of St. George’s Market in Belfast and the rather fabulous Adare Manor in Limerick.


  • Karl Deeter writes on why we need to increase property tax – this is never a popular fact to state but it is an ignored reality by politicians.


  • Donal Buckley reports that “Hammerson and Allianz hope to build homes for 2,000 people and increase retail space hugely in the Dublin 14 shopping hub”.


  • Companies and state compete for new houses | Ireland | The Times





  • Mortgage approvals down as buyers face competition from private companies


  • Dublin crane count reaches record 123 in March


  • Brexit to have ‘immediate impact’ on construction firms


  • Plans to rezone industrial land in Dublin unveiled


  • Dublin planners’ warning over garden log cabin rules:“175 complaints to planning enforcement about log cabins over the past four years.”





  • Celtic Tiger building defects ‘widespread’, says housing expert


  • Apartment owners unable to access €750m lifeline plan


  • Private sector may never be able to supply 35,000 homes, housebuilder warns



  • Dublin delivers another record year for Office Investment Ireland





  • Construction industry sees delays, cost increases and skills shortages as key Brexit impacts – Construction Industry Federation


Agile Agent – Digital Transformation for Independent Estate Agents

Q2 Programme updates here:




To get involved and for free Proptech Prompts, please



Proptech and Construction Innovation



  • PlaceTech | Microsoft unveils table scanning feature to upload data: Carol Tallon, founder of PropTech Ireland and author of Property Insider books, added: “This is exactly the kind of non-threatening, recognizable tech that traditional agents can embrace for easy, early wins. The benefits are instant and obvious, with zero risk.”


  • Applications Open for Colliers Proptech Accelerator Powered by Techstars


  • Top 6 real estate tech trends to watch in 2019 #AR #proptech


  • Build to rent developer takes stake in lettings proptech business – Property Industry Eye





  • PropTech Update: No More “Baby Steps” Into the Future







Crowd-sourcing:   New Facebook Group for Irish Property Buyers & Investors

As many of you might know, my annual property book The Irish Property Buyers’ Handbook (since 2011) was rebranded 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.

For the first time, the 2019 edits will be crowd-sourced and will include home-buyer and investor queries, with crowd-sourced and editorial team answers. Join the Facebook Group here to contribute:

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