Sunday Property Round-Up, March 22nd 2020


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



Naturally, the broadsheets are dominated by coronavirus coverage. 

Before we get stuck into the general property news of the week, a few words of advice for these unprecedented times: In times of crisis, tier one organisations need access to credible information. They need to empower decisive leadership, to show integrity and transparency in all communications (internally & externally). Most importantly, they must remain human-led and demonstrate genuine compassion for colleagues, clients and their communities. We are all in this together and our team is here to help, if or when needed:



‪For anyone who might have missed this – ‘Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addresses the nation on Saint Patrick’s day 2020‬’: 



Below are the local and international stories that might be of particular interest: 


  • ‘It was like flicking a switch’: How Covid-19 has hit the property scene

    “IT WAS LIKE flicking a switch” Michael Kinsella, an estate agent at Kinsella Estates, said on Friday as first buyers, but then sellers cancelled viewings from the start of last week. 

    However, the Wicklow-based company has been using virtual viewings and 3D images to give clients a look, selling three properties using this method since the outbreak. Although that technology was already becoming popular with estate agents, it’s now likely to become the default option for many.

    “(Potential buyers) might not necessarily buy, but they can narrow down. For an average townhouse, 3D visualisation is effective, but less so for a big investment family home,” Kinsella said.





  • Concern raised over construction industry’s reliance on foreign investment:  Concern has been raised about the Irish construction industry’s over-reliance on foreign funding with new figures showing overseas investors accounted for nearly three-quarters of the €2.4 billion invested in the private rented sector (PRS) here last year.

    The figures from estate agents Savills indicated just €630 million came from Irish sources. The influx of foreign funds, availing of strong returns from the rental sector, has been a feature of the sector here since the crash.




  • So far: ‪Coronavirus: Work in construction sector likely to continue:  Industry sources said Health Service Executive (HSE) guidance on social distancing was being applied on building sites.‬‬







  • Non-bank lenders support 3 month Covid-19 payment break

    Some of the country’s largest landlords and institutional property investors have said they will support tenants who are impacted by the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic through measures such as deferral of rent payments and payment plans.





  • Implications of Covid-19 for Ireland’s Commercial Property Market March 2020










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!)








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: 



Email the Property Matters team at







  • Hines reveals masterplan for Player Wills site on SCR: Renovation of the site will create space for 1,347 apartments and 15 low-rise townhouses





  • In The Sunday Times today: Planning guru Brent Toderian to aid birth of a new liveable city in Limerick:  It’s an exciting time for Limerick — the Covid-19 crisis aside. Earlier this year, the Land Development Agency and Limerick city council announced that a new €2bn neighbourhood for up to 10,000 people would be built in the Treaty County. The agency and local authority have assembled a dream site, 124 acres beside Colbert train station in the city.

    On March 12, they kicked off the second phase of what they are calling Colbert Station Quarter and assembled a crack team of architectural and planning experts who will try to create the most liveable city in Ireland, a walkable neighbourhood with a mixture of homes, jobs, transport and leisure spaces… 




*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*








  • “…the thing that will most likely impact the market positively or negatively is supply coming to the market.”

    This means that if the construction industry slows down, there won’t be anything to sell, rent or lease … This is something contractors are taking very seriously. Building sites need to be kept open. This can be done, because we’ve made such a move towards modern methods of construction, more work is being done off-site so there’s less work to be done on-site.

    “On most building sites in Ireland, there wouldn’t be the same number of bodies you might have seen on a building site 30 years ago. We have tools and automation.”


  • McKillen company challenges Dublin city planners in High Court: The legal action is challenging a new building policy relating to how basements in developments are assessed and built


  • Comers fail in latest bid to a mend planning permission: Developers of apartment scheme in Dublin 9 have requested amendments to their permission multiple times, each time to add units and reduce unit size



  • Sandyford Central SHD: 564 apartments for Richmond Homes in Sandyford Central.







  • Dublin’s Unicorn in line for bulldozer
    The Unicorn restaurant in Dublin, a favourite haunt of celebrities and bankers during the Celtic tiger era, is facing demolition…



  • Minister for Housing and Urban Planning notified Cork County Council of his intention to issue a Direction pursuant to Section 31 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended). The draft Ministerial Direction relates to Variation No. 2 of the Cork County Development Plan 2014 (Retail Outlet Centres)

    Submission or observations in respect of the draft direction can be made from 9am on Thursday 19th March to 4pm on Thursday 2nd April, 2020.

    Click on the link to access information and/or make a submission in relation to the Section 31 – Ministers Draft Direction.











  • 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 * 




  • Proptech: Estate agents give thanks for the digital age:  Offices may have shut, but thanks to online advertising, video calls and virtual walk-throughs, business is ticking over

    ‘In many ways, like much of the working world, the property sector in Ireland has been preparing for life during a pandemic for the past decade. Many estate agents have embraced online marketing.

    The message last week from the country’s biggest agencies — and some smaller ones — was that, while their offices were closed, they were still very much in business.’






  • Proptech Check: Q&A with Goodwin’s Minta Kay 

    “The level of funds flowing into proptech remains very strong. Investment rounds continue at a healthy pace and show no evidence of slowing. The number of products that continue to be developed, and the size of the real estate investment and ownership communities, together indicate that we can expect vibrant activity in the years to come.”






  • 3 Proptech Execs’ Take On Customer Support In A New Age

    As COVID-19 touches increasingly more lives, commercial real estate’s leadership is grappling with how to not only be present and communicative for their teams, but for their customers as well. Often, proptech startups are lean by design and accustomed to iterating in order to survive, which gives them agility — an advantage that bigger companies may hope to emulate in times of dramatic change. SelectLeaders spoke to three companies about how they’re adapting moment to moment.

    Read more at:


  • Proptech KlickOwn Launches First Security Token Offering for Real Estate in Germany




C-Suite Sessions: 2020 Masterclasses 


The Property District and Proptech Ireland team is busy moving our C-Suite Session masterclasses online  – anyone who has already signup up for these will be notified. For anyone else, our capacity online is obviously greater and we will be in a position to include more people so if you wish to use the next few weeks of home-working and social distancing to up-skill yourself and/or your team, contact for the full line-up of sessions.






  • In the Sunday Independent today: How to navigate the property market during the pandemic:  The Banker Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Bank Ireland

    “The critical thing is that this is primarily about lives rather than livelihood, so people are suspending decisions about anything but the most pressing economic transactions. Their focus is on getting toilet paper rather than a three-bedroom property. And that focus is likely to be a key feature of the property market for the next several months.

    “It means we will see something approaching a freeze in property transactions and that reduction means it will be difficult to move on either side. If you want to buy a property, it’s going to be hard to find the one you want. If you want to sell a property, it is going to be hard to find someone who wants to step in. It is an extension of what is happening in a lot of financial markets at the moment, though without the volatility.

    “However, banks are continuing, agents are continuing, removal firms are still functioning. It’s not a case that anyone in the throes of a property purchase isn’t going to be able to complete that transaction.

    “There may be behavioural changes that affect how and what we buy in different ways in the longer term. People will think, Do I want to travel long distances? Do I want a property where I have some space to myself.









  • In the Business Post and on RTE: C&AG report criticises NAMA loan sale: A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) has criticised the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) for failing to properly evaluate a series of loans sold in 2012 that led to them being disposed of for about €29m less than they perhaps could have been.

    The C&AG said errors and poor analysis by NAMA meant the target price for the assets was significantly less than it should have been.

    The loans in Project Nantes changed hands for €27m, when they could have fetched €56m, the C&AG found.



  • Arcade owner will not charge rent during Covid-19 shutdown:  The Layden Group says traders at George’s Street Arcade in Dublin city centre are ‘brave and resilient’ and deserve support





  • In The Sunday Times: A Nasdaq-quoted software company has pulled out of a deal to lease office space in Dublin, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic as a factor and fuelling fears of a sharp drop-off in foreign direct investment (FDI). was lined up to occupy part of a newly developed building at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, which would have accommodated about 200 staff. Property sources said the deal with Targeted Investment Opportunities, a joint venture of Oaktree Capital and Irish group Bennett Construction, was considered “a sure thing” before Wix called it off.













  • Wind and solar developer Mainstream Renewable Power in talks with major funds ahead of equity sale stake sale: Mainstream Renewable Power has held discussions with major funds and energy giants interested in taking an equity stake in the Irish wind and solar developer.

    The company, which is also close to finalising a $700m (€656m) fundraising for a major project in Chile, has had informal expressions of interest from a range of potential partners and hopes to finalise a deal later this year.





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