Irish property market news and insights – for the industry, by the industry
The past 24-hour period has seen the highest daily death toll in Ireland, naturally, the broadsheets continue to be dominated by coronavirus coverage. I hope that everyone reading this today is keeping well, physically and mentally. These are truly challenging times and I fully understand that these challenges are relative. For anyone facing any health issues, themselves or a loved one, this is all-consuming. For others, survival is a broader concept right now; how to stay healthy enough to keep the business going under unprecedented circumstances and how to add value to our colleagues, clients and communities. The leadership shown by our so-called caretaker government has been phenomenal. This leadership is not just in the bold, decisive action taken, but in the words shared, the vulnerabilities acknowledged and how the public has been kept regularly informed in a calm, yet realistic way. Industry business owners and managers could really learn from this.
Before we get stuck into the general property news of the week, below are the local and international stories that might be of particular interest:
- Coronavirus: Construction sector most significant part of new shutdown: Much of manufacturing to remain open
- Most construction work will stop unless essential to pandemic, Harris says
Under construction, the essential work is listed as: Essential health and related projects relevant to the COVID-19 crisis, and supplies necessary for such projects
Repair/construction of critical road and utility infrastructure
Delivery of emergency services to businesses and homes on an emergency call-out basis in areas such as electrical, plumbing, glazing and roofing
“They’re not [essential] unless they are building something that is essential to this pandemic,” Harris said.
- Ban on evictions and rent freeze in new emergency legislation https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/ban-on-evictions-and-rent-freeze-in-new-emergency-legislation-1.4211377?mode=amp
- If you read only one news feature in-depth today, let it be this one: Nothing taken for granted as property market holds its breath: House buyers and sellers alike are holding their breath as the nation waits for the pandemic to play out. Here‘s how the residential sector is handling the uncertainty – and what might happen next | Business Post https://www.businesspost.ie/residential/nothing-taken-for-granted-as-property-market-holds-its-breath-12ad7822
- David McWilliams: We need to totally reimagine economics
“Why mortgage rates can fall immediately and why the virus must never lead to austerity…”
- Estate Agent’s Guide to Social Media 2020 https://propertydistrict.ie/estate-agents-guide-to-social-media-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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
(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 (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 proptech provider Nicholas Polley of 3D Design Bureau and #SpaceAsAService expert Antony Slumbers who joined me (remotely!) on PROPERTY MATTERS this week to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on planning, new development projects, construction sites and property viewings for estate and letting agents.
Listen back here: https://ipropertyradio.com/property-matters-24th-march-2020-impact-of-covid-19-on-planning-new-development-projects-construction-sites-and-property-viewings-for-estate-and-letting-agents/
*Listen back to all #PropertyMatters episodes here: https://anchor.fm/ipropertyradio
Email the Property Matters team at hello@iPropertyRadio.com
PUBLIC CONSULTATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
- As a result of Covid-19, Waterways Ireland is changing our advice to those wishing to participate in the Public Consultation on the Draft Tourism Masterplan for the Shannon and Environmental Report.
- How the COVID-19 Pandemic Will Change the Built Environment – Townmore
- Developers target the once ultra-elite ‘village’ of Foxrock
“…one entire corner of the crossroads that marks the ‘village’ of Foxrock has disappeared and behind the hoarding a block of high-end homes is rising…”
*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
- In the Sunday Independent: €30m plan to rapidly build ‘field hospitals’
The Government has a €30m emergency back-up plan which would see over 20 ‘field hospitals’ built to treat critical Covid-19 patients nationwide.
The plan will come into play if the health system becomes overburdened from the expected huge influx of coronavirus-infected patients in the coming weeks.
The prefabricated structures will be built on or near under-pressure hospitals in Dublin, Cork, Sligo and Limerick and will cater for over 250 critically ill patients, with more builds to follow as the crisis worsens.
A source confirmed to the Sunday Independent the nationwide roll-out is ‘ready to go” if the Government green-lights it. The projects will take just eight weeks to complete.
“Each hospital will be able to cater for 12 intensive care beds,” said the source, highlighting the need to keep numbers small to stop the spread of infection, while providing the best care for patients.
- Demands of social distancing shut down country’s building sites: With images circulating of construction workers huddling together on sites, a closure of all building projects this weekend was effectively inevitable in the circumstances | Business Post https://www.businesspost.ie/coronavirus/demands-of-social-distancing-shut-down-countrys-building-sites-cd400717
- Planning laws loosened as businesses adapt to pandemic:
‘Any new hospitals, isolation units, step-down care centres or other infrastructure needed to fight the pandemic will now bypass the planning process.’
- Coronavirus: High-profile building projects may soon grind to a halt
Multinationals could halt building in the Republic, sources suggested on Wednesday, as work continued on high-profile projects such as the National Children’s Hospital and Grangegorman university site.
The Government is allowing work to continue on building sites around the Republic, which employ 30,000 people, despite some unions arguing the industry should close along with others to protect workers from Covid-19 infection.
However, industry sources suggest that multinationals with construction projects under way in the Republic could halt this work as these businesses react to the pandemic.
Tech giant Facebook earlier this week confirmed that it would temporarily suspend building at its data centre in Clonee, Dublin, in what it said was a move designed to protect workers’ health.
- Planning System Remains Open for Business:
Every effort is being made to ensure that these systems can continue to operate, taking account of public health advice. Local authority public offices and the Offices of An Bord Pleanála remain open.
- Cairn says construction activity continuing but sales likely to be hit https://www.irishtimes.com/business/construction/cairn-says-construction-activity-continuing-but-sales-likely-to-be-hit-1.4211722?mode=amp
- 800 northside Dublin apartments get planning green light under fast-track housing rules: In decisions published yesterday, An Bord Pleanála approved a 485-unit residential development on the Carnlough Road in Cabra, Dublin 7, on lands purchased from CIE in 2004.
It also gave the green light to Cosgrave Developments’ 329-unit development on former Santry Demesne grounds off Northwood Avenue near the Gullivers Retail Park and M50. The Cosgrave plan envisions four eight-storey blocks, mostly two-bedroom units with penthouses on top,
- Green light for almost 500 new apartments in Cabra: Planning permission has been granted for a new development of almost 500 homes and a neighbourhood centre on a former CIÉ site in Cabra.
An Bord Pleanála has approved plans by Seven Cabra Real Estate for the construction of 485 apartments as well as a convenience store, cafe, gym and creche on a 3.9 hectare site on Carnlough Road in the northside suburb.
The company is managed by UK real estate investment management company, Tristan Capital Partners, which acquired the site from developer Pat Crean’s Marlet group in a deal believed to be worth around €39 million
- House builder Ballymore wins approval for 142 Malahide homes: House builder Ballymore has secured planning approval from An Bord Pleanála for 142 homes and a crèche on eight acres off Seamount Road, Malahide, in Co Dublin.
- Green light for Castleknock apartment plan in face of local opposition: Two of the country’s biggest house builders – Glenveagh Homes and Ballymore Developments – have secured planning permission for ‘fast track’ plans for more than 330 residential units at two separate sites in Dublin.
- Crosbie appeals vacant site tax on €1m ‘shed’
Developer Harry Crosbie is appealing against the vacant site tax applied to a €1m warehouse he owns in Dublin city, insisting the “shed” is in use and will become a hotel.
The builder, who has proposed reclaiming land from the Irish Sea to build homes, said the vacant site levy applied to his warehouse behind the Vicar Street concert venue is not fair. Records show he lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanala (ABP) last Monday.
- Goodman firm seeks revisions to plans for city centre office block: New application exposes Ternary Limited to further objections | Business Post https://www.businesspost.ie/commercial/goodman-firm-seeks-revisions-to-plans-for-city-centre-office-block-6e670285
- Kildare County Council chief opposes housing plans – Draft variation to development plan aims to curtail proposed housing developments (700 units total) | Business Post https://www.businesspost.ie/residential/kildare-county-council-chief-opposes-housing-plans-5644d47f
- Demolition of old house and construction of new one refused in Kilkenny city https://www.kilkennypeople.ie/news/home/528242/demolition-of-old-house-and-construction-of-new-one-refused-in-kilkenny-city.html
- Planning appeal lodged against a decision preventing developer from completing a ghost estate in Athlone – Shannonside https://www.shannonside.ie/news/local/west-meath/planning-appeal-lodged-decision-preventing-developer-completing-ghost-estate-athlone/
- DAA gets green light to amend new runway plans at Dublin Airport https://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/daa-gets-green-light-to-amend-new-runway-plans-at-dublin-airport-1.4212788?mode=amp
- Building company failed on back of coronavirus crisis, court hears: The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed a corporate casualty with the loss of more than 30 jobs at a construction and plant-hire business, the High Court has heard.
- US investment firm Bridgewater Associates appears to have made a rapid exit from an €80m short position it recently established in Irish building materials giant CRH.
The latest notifiable short positions published by the Central Bank of Ireland do not list any position in CRH by Bridgewater.
- UK perspective: Coronavirus delays hit £26bn-worth of projects https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/financial/coronavirus-delays-hit-26bn-worth-of-projects-27-03-2020/
PROPTECH, MMC & CONSTRUCTION INNOVATION
- 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 *
- Virtual Reality: Auctioneers’ new world in time of coronavirus
“Ordinarily, springtime means extended daylight hours, ergo more viewings. Prospective buyers, not yet distracted by summer holidays, seize the opportunity to suss out potential homes when natural light levels are good, making it easier to determine if the package on offer tallies with what it says in the brochure.
This spring, things are different. Overnight auctioneers’ reality has become, well, virtual.”
- Procore launches Zoom integration to enhance construction collaboration – TechCentral.ie https://www.techcentral.ie/procore-launches-zoom-integration-to-enhance-construction-collaboration/
- PropTech platform launches to transform building performance – UKTN (UK Tech News) https://www.uktech.news/featured/proptech-platform-launches-to-transform-building-performance-20200326
- Leading VCs discuss how COVID-19 is impacting real estate & proptech – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/26/leading-vcs-discuss-how-covid-19-is-impacting-real-estate-proptech/
- #IrishBusiness supports:
Enterprise Ireland Business Response – COVID-19 – Enterprise Ireland https://enterprise-ireland.com/en/about-us/services/covid-19/
- The importance of collaboration across the offsite construction sector: https://horizonoffsite.ie/the-importance-of-collaboration-across-the-offsite-construction-sector/
- PropTech Today: industry chiefs helping agents through tough times https://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2020/3/proptech-today-industry-leaders-on-how-theyre-helping-agents-through-tough-times
- Flexible workspaces will weather coronavirus crisis, says proptech platform essensys | Online | Property Week https://www.propertyweek.com/news/flexible-workspaces-will-weather-coronavirus-crisis-says-proptech-platform-essensys/5107005.article
- Lockdown will make estate agents ‘reassess home working and self-employment’ https://thenegotiator.co.uk/lock-down-will-make-agent-reassess-home-working-and-self-employment/
- Five tools helping to power the property industry through coronavirus | Online | Property Week https://www.propertyweek.com/ask-the-expert/five-tools-helping-to-power-the-property-industry-through-coronavirus/5107002.article
- Tech trends that are changing the face of real estate – Business Daily https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/corporate/marketplace/Tech-trends-that-are-changing-the-face-of-real-estate/4003114-5501434-j17hc7/index.html
- Offsite and modular construction: will the digital revolution be built off-site?
- Portals slammed by PropTech start up promising to help agents
- #proptech: How to view, negotiate and buy a home – entirely online https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/how-to-view-negotiate-and-buy-a-home-entirely-online-1.4210825?mode=amp
- Confined in rental apartments, millennials decorate virtual homes: Interior design apps are on the rise as homeownership rates among people under 35 have fallen by 20% in the last decade
- BIM for project managers via @Arcdox
OTHER PROPERTY NEWS
- Dublin snaps up apartment leases for social housing: Dublin city council is in discussions with developers and venture funds about acquiring “hundreds” of long-term leases on apartments in the city, in the hope of greatly increasing its stock of social housing over the next year.
The country’s largest local authority is also making use of the shock that coronavirus has had on Dublin property prices, to reduce the number of families and single people living in emergency homeless accommodation.
Brendan Kenny, the council’s deputy chief executive, said the collapse of the tourism sector and the property market was helping the council to provide better care for homeless people.
- Property is in a strong position to withstand the coming storm | Business Post
“While it’s too soon to predict the extent of the impact of Covid-19 on the real estate market, and there will be an impact, its scale will depend on how long the pandemic lasts”
- Coronavirus: What does lockdown mean for property buyers and sellers? https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/coronavirus-what-does-lockdown-mean-for-property-buyers-and-sellers-1.4211080?mode=amp
- Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB have begun turning down house-buyers seeking to borrow more than three-and-a-half times their earnings, in the first signs of how mortgage providers are reacting to the squeeze on earnings caused by the coronavirus crisis.
PTSB has issued a blanket ban from April 2 on all mortgage applications requiring an exemption from the Central Bank of Ireland’s lending rules. The rules require borrowers to have deposits of up to 20% and cap mortgages at three-and-a-half times their incomes. Exemptions are allowed for borderline applicants.
- Writing in the Sunday Independent today, Sean Pollock reports that “nearly half of Irish home buyers plan to delay purchasing property due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic“.
- Spike in rental properties available – but many remain ‘unaffordable’, warns homeless charity https://www.thejournal.ie/rent-dublin-property-homeless-hap-5059459-Mar2020/
- Rent-a-room tenancies protected as Dáil backs amendment to ban all evictions: It was one of 86 amendments discussed in the marathon debate on the emergency Bill covering wide-ranging measures from six Government departments – Health, Housing, Justice, Defence, Social Protection and Finance. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/rent-a-room-tenancies-protected-as-d%C3%A1il-backs-amendment-to-ban-all-evictions-1.4213346?mode=amp
- State urged to make affordable housing a priority when virus clears https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/state-urged-to-make-affordable-housing-a-priority-when-virus-clears-lbns5lj8g
- Those who test positive likely to struggle to get life and mortgage protection cover https://m.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/those-who-test-positive-likely-to-struggle-to-get-life-and-mortgage-protection-cover-39070524.html
- Airbnb bubble bursts during coronavirus https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/travel/airbnb-bubble-bursts-during-coronavirus-1.4209742?mode=amp
- Dublin businesses who need to defer rates payments advised to contact council https://www.thejournal.ie/dublin-businesses-contact-council-about-deferring-rates-5054784-Mar2020/
- Housing back on agenda once Covid-19 crisis over: With human health at risk because of the coronavirus it feels almost vacuous to be writing about property. However, housing is one of the key social issues of our time and, when the coronavirus pandemic eventually passes, it will inevitably re-emerge as topic of debate
- Coronavirus effect prompts five-year high of homes for rent in central Dublin https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/coronavirus-effect-prompts-five-year-high-of-homes-for-rent-in-central-dublin-1.4211087?mode=amp
- Airbnb plans to give free accommodation to 100,000 healthcare workers https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/airbnb-plans-to-give-free-accommodation-to-100000-healthcare-workers-990378.html
- Student landlord firm ‘adjusting its policies’ after previously refusing rent refunds https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/student-landlord-firm-adjusting-its-policies-after-previously-refusing-rent-refunds-990329.html
- The value of Irish commercial property investment deals in the first three months of this year held up well compared with the same period of 2019, with preliminary estimates indicating that €627m worth of investment properties changed hands.
That is an increase of €35m or 5pc on the €592m which changed hands in the first quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, the number of deals decreased from 40 to 38.
Russell Cleere, senior investment analyst at property consultants TWM, said that 2020 started positively but March had shown significant signs of decreased activity due to investor uncertainty related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- In the Sunday Independent today, Samantha McCaughren writes:
Retailers are seeking significant support from the Government in paying commercial rent ahead of Wednesday, when hundreds of millions of euro are due to be paid for quarter two.
In a circular sent to around 200 well-known retailers, Retail Excellence warned that many shops will take up to three years to recover from the coronavirus crisis.
It said that a significant proportion of retailers will not be in a position to pay their Q2 2020 rent bill. “They are scrambling to negotiate alternation of terms, but ultimately they are simply buying time before the inevitable happens,”
- Penneys suspends rent payments to landlords for 37 stores – The shutdown is costing the retailer about €700 million a month in lost revenue.
- Can I avoid large tax bill on property transfer from son? https://m.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/can-i-avoid-large-tax-bill-on-property-transfer-from-son-39062734.html
- Covid-19 crisis sees Tenable put plan for new Dublin docklands HQ ‘on hold’: US cybersecurity firm Tenable has put a plan to relocate its existing international headquarters in Dublin to a new and bigger office in the city’s docklands “on hold” due to the Covid-19 crisis.
- Retail landlords worried rents will dry up during Covid-19 crisis https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/retail-landlords-worried-rents-will-dry-up-during-covid-19-crisis-1.4214202?mode=amp
- Commercial lease issues that could arise during Covid-19 and how to deal with them: As many premises are forced to close temporarily, landlords and tenants can take several different options towards rent and service charges. As with all business negotiations, a flexible approach will help both sides in future relationships, writes Chris Connolly in the Business Post today https://www.businesspost.ie/commercial/commercial-lease-issues-that-could-arise-during-covid-19-and-how-to-deal-with-them-5c0950d
- Dermot Bannon wins ‘open bathtub’ planning battle with neighbour https://www.thejournal.ie/dermot-bannon-room-to-improve-planning-bathtub-5060485-Mar2020/
- Cairn and Glenveagh directors miss out on lucrative founder shares https://www.irishtimes.com/business/construction/cairn-and-glenveagh-directors-miss-out-on-lucrative-founder-shares-1.4213749?mode=amp
- Hibernia Reit executive buys €50,000 in company shares https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/hibernia-reit-executive-buys-50-000-in-company-shares-1.4209992?mode=amp
- Michael O’Flynn: Construction industry must continue to operate: The head of one of the country’s largest construction companies has said that the industry is critical and is a service that will have to continue.
Michael O’Flynn, of O’Flynn Construction, told RTÉ radio’s Today with Séan O’Rourke show that the construction industry was working on vital projects such as the building of temporary HSE facilities and the fit-out of testing centres.
- Davy update to private clients – 26th March 2020 https://www.davy.ie/market-and-insights/insights/insights/davy-update-to-private-clients—26th-march-2020.html
- Vacant property owners need to ‘answer Ireland’s call’
A local authority initiative designed to bring vacant homes back into use is seeking property owners to “answer Ireland’s call” and make housing available for medics returning from abroad.
Vacanthomes.ie was developed in 2017 by Mayo County Council on behalf of the local government sector, to allow local authorities to identify empty houses that could be used to help solve the housing crisis
- World’s wind power capacity up by fifth after record year https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/25/worlds-wind-power-capacity-up-by-fifth-after-record-year
- Michael Sorkin, ‘supremely gifted’ theorist and architect, dies from COVID-19 https://architectureau.com/articles/michael-sorkin-dies-from-coronavirus/