Irish property market news and insights – for the industry, by the industry
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:
- Almost 5,000 new homes built in first quarter – CSO https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2020/0507/1137065-cso-home-completions/
- Number of apartment completions jumps by over 75% | Newstalk https://www.newstalk.com/news/number-apartment-completions-jumps-75-1011692
- Tourism, food and construction worst-hit by Covid-19 job losses https://www.thejournal.ie/tourism-unemployment-jobs-coronavirus-business-building-sites-5091372-May2020/
- ‘It’s a perfect storm’: Sharp rise in Rent Supplement payments raises concerns over post-Covid crisis https://www.thejournal.ie/rent-supplement-increases-covid-19-ireland-5089521-May2020/
- Co-living in a pandemic: how I’m surviving life with 48 roommates https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/05/co-living-coronavirus-roommates-starcity
- More than a third of Irish FDI is ‘phantom’ investment – CSO
More than a third of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Republic, equating to €312 billion, is so-called “phantom” capital, passing through the jurisdiction to finance operations elsewhere, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
In a new report on Irish FDI trends, the CSO said the value of inward investment in 2018 was €874 billion.
This equated to 270 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) compared with an EU average of just 56 per cent, reflecting what the CSO said was “the highly globalised nature of the Irish economy”.
- Building project delays may spark ‘rise in disputes’ : Mitchell McDermott, a Dublin-based construction consultancy, has warned about the potential for disputes over construction sector productivity as Covid-19 delays progress on sites.
The company said in a weekly note on the sector to its clients that the next few months are going to “prove very challenging” from a contractual perspective as to how the productivity issue is dealt with. It said the successful basis for a time and money claim for Covid-19 in a standard contract is not clear.
We hear more about this from Paul Mitchell, Director of Mitchell McDermott on Property Matters radio show and podcast this week – details below….
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). The team delivers 60 minutes of industry chat weekly with guests from the areas of planning, construction, property and proptech.
Produced by Katie Tallon of Hear Me Roar Media.
Property Matters, May 5th, 2020: Mitchell McDermott, The Pod Factory & iPPi.io
Joining us on #PropertyMatters this week are Paul Mitchell, Director of Mitchell McDermott, Richard Thorpe, Managing Director of The Pod Factory, and Kenneth Kelly, Director at iPPi.io, to discuss the realities of restarting construction after the shutdown, alternative housing options, and innovating property valuations.
Listen back to all #PropertyMatters episodes here: https://ipropertyradio.com
Email the Property Matters team at hello@iPropertyRadio.com
PUBLIC CONSULTATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
- The Office of the Planning Regulator publishes a communications toolkit to encourage public participation in the development plan process – The Office of the Planning Regulator
- Restrictions and planning rights
“By the time the public gets to view a proposal, over half the allotted period for observations may be gone. I predict legal challenges on the basis of obstruction of third-party participation…”
- Urban Planning Resources for COVID-19: It’s possible to hope that planners accustomed to toiling away behind the scene in their respective city halls might now be liberated from some of the insulation of bureaucracy. The field’s new digital grounds might prove fertile for positive innovations, but positive change won’t be possible without improved engagement with the public, and better data than ever—the right data to answer the right questions and the right arguments to persuade the masses.
- One of Dublin’s ugliest buildings, Hawkins House, finally to be demolished https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/one-of-dublin-s-ugliest-buildings-hawkins-house-finally-to-be-demolished-1.4247428?mode=amp
- ‘West Cork should become Ireland’s first marine-based national park’ https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/West-Cork-should-become-Irelands-first-marine-based-national-park-f0077174-65c4-4e1c-b433-e6e4e40eb2c1-ds
- Cities will endure, but urban design must adapt to coronavirus risks and fears https://theconversation.com/cities-will-endure-but-urban-design-must-adapt-to-coronavirus-risks-and-fears-135949
- Cafes and restaurants to be allowed use pedestrianised Dublin streets https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/cafes-and-restaurants-to-be-allowed-use-pedestrianised-dublin-streets-1.4248766?mode=amp
- Shannon Town to feature in Building Ireland TV series
“Building Ireland brings viewers on a journey around Ireland and explains aspects of built heritage and local landscapes which many people may see on a daily basis, but which they rarely question. This is the power of public broadcasting at its height – creating a public who are informed and enthusiastic about their surroundings, and proud of their heritage,”
- Public consultation to begin on N4 upgrade from Mullingar to Roosky | Westmeath Examiner
A public consultation process on the route of the N4 Mullingar to Longford Roosky upgrade has this morning been announced by Westmeath County Council.
The project involves the upgrade of a 52km section of the road – and the public consultation will include the assessment of alternatives routes.
The stretch of roadway is currently a single carriageway road that passes through or close to several settlements, including Ballinalack, Rathowen, Edgeworthstown, Longford and Newtownforbes.
- Galway East TD throws support behind movement for more street space in Galway
All five Galway West TDs signed yesterday’s Open Letter to Galway City Council which suggested several creative and popular ideas for street space to be better allocated in the city.
The call for additional street space in Galway to be made available for cycling, walking and eating in recent days and weeks has been echoed by Galway East TD Ciaran Cannon.
*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
- 18 May Construction ‘Back to Work’ day | Irish Building Magazine.ie | https://www.irishbuildingmagazine.ie/2020/05/06/18-may-construction-back-to-work-day/
- *Critical reading – The CIF Key Guidance Notes for the Construction Sector: https://cif.ie/2020/04/27/the-cif-key-guidance-notes-for-the-construction-sector/Irish
- Planning Conference 2020
- Construction shares rise but Covid set to dent house completions this year https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/business/construction-shares-rise-but-covid-set-to-dent-house-completions-this-year-998304.html
- Three sites selected for social housing development: Sites in East Wall, Ballymun and Whitehall have been selected by Dublin City Council for large-scale social housing developments to be built under a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Up to 290 social housing units will be built across the three sites under a PPP model that is to provide a total of 1,500 units across the country at a total cost of €300 million.
The three Dublin sites are part of the third and final ‘bundle’ of the National Social Housing Programme first announced in 2015.
- Work resumes at 35 social housing construction sites https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2020/0506/1136849-construction-restarted/
- Builder Glenveagh eyes recovery as Covid-19 restrictions set to be eased https://www.irishtimes.com/business/construction/builder-glenveagh-eyes-recovery-as-covid-19-restrictions-set-to-be-eased-1.4247215?mode=amp
- In The Sunday Times today: Westridge Real Estate finalises plans for office towers on DIT Kevin Street site: Property group Westridge Real Estate, headed by Shane Whelan, bought the property in central Dublin last year for €140m, 40% above the €100m guide price. Westridge has finalised plans for a development of five blocks that would include more than 50,000 sq m of office space and 299 build-to-rent apartments.
Under the plans, two office blocks of up to 11 storeys would front onto Kevin Street, close to St Stephen’s Green.
- Kennedy Wilson reveals Covid hit to Shelbourne hotel takings: Despite the Covid-19 hit to incomes, Kennedy Wilson collected 96% of April rents due from tenants of its residential properties worldwide, which include thousands of apartments in Ireland. It also collected 96% of April rents from its office properties in the US, Ireland and the UK. In the case of Ireland and the UK, that means office rents are paid up to the end of June.
- In the Business Post today: Oakland secures pre-let of new Belfast aparthotel: The nine-storey building in the city centre will have 175 beds
- In the Sunday Independent today: State home-building fund to expand its loans for developers: State-owned Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) is launching a series of new measures to expand its housebuilding finance ahead of a resumption of construction activity.
Among the measures will be new “step-in” funding of €200m for housebuilders where funding from banks may not be available to allow them to begin new housing developments.
The new measures will allow a wider range of housebuilders to access HBFI’s €750m funding and will double the upper limit for individual HBFI loans from €35m to €75m.
- Planning permission refused for 342 unit housing development in Rosshill – Galway Daily https://www.galwaydaily.com/news/planning-permission-refused-for-342-unit-housing-development-in-rosshill/
- Developer refused planning permission for 342 homes on grounds on old golf course lands
Property developer Bernard Duffy has been refused permission to build 342 homes in Galway on former golf course lands owned by the Comer Group.
An Bord Pleanála ruled that Alber Homes’ proposed Rosshill Manor development had design and layout flaws and could have posed a risk to wildlife in nearby Galway Bay.
Rosshill Manor would have constituted 185 houses ranging from two to four bedrooms, alongside 157 apartments in five four-storey blocks and one three-storey block.
- Approval sought to enlarge Crown Square hotel plans:
Wolfe Tone House Crown Square Developments is seeking permission to amend the previously approved plans for a hotel which makes up one part of the larger Crown Square project.
The commercial side of this project was approved by the city council in March 2019, which also includes five office blocks with the capacity for over 3,100 staff.
- Premier Inn hotel with 106 bedrooms proposed for Usher’s Quay https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/premier-inn-hotel-with-106-bedrooms-proposed-for-usher-s-quay-1.4248699?mode=amp&__twitter_impression=true
- Completion of apartments at Dublin’s Priory Hall delayed by coronavirus lockdown https://m.independent.ie/irish-news/completion-of-apartments-at-dublins-priory-hall-delayed-by-lockdown-39181322.html
- 70 residential units approved for Walkinstown site http://www.echo.ie/show/article/70-residential-units-approved-for-walkinstown-site
- Construction of Westside modular housing development reaches completion: The 15 prefabricated units will be a mix of two and three bedrooms, and have a lifespane of 60 years according to the Peter McVerry Trust
- Plan lodged for 4-storey apartment block at Bóthar Stiofáin – Galway Bay FM https://galwaybayfm.ie/galway-bay-fm-news-desk/plan-lodged-for-4-storey-apartment-block-at-bothar-stiofain/
- Moycullen bypass construction on course to start later this year – Galway Bay FM https://galwaybayfm.ie/galway-bay-fm-news-desk/moycullen-bypass-construction-on-course-to-start-later-this-year/
- Green light for €120m Trinity Wharf project https://m.independent.ie/regionals/wexfordpeople/news/green-light-for-120m-trinity-wharf-project-39180061.html
- Well known Naas company seeks permission for major development
Dennison Trailers is one of the oldest businesses in Naas and is based on the Johnstown side of the town at Maudlins Cross, near the “big ball” monument.
- Longford County Council planners refuse permission for construction of 27 houses in Edgeworthstown https://www.longfordleader.ie/news/home/540871/longford-county-council-planners-refuse-permission-for-construction-of-27-houses-in-edgeworthstown.html
- Carlow Nationalist — Developer ‘has given up on Carlow’ after TK Maxx refusal
Gwen Thomas of Thompson Holdings Limited told The Nationalist yesterday that the decision by the planning authority not to allow a 4,000 square foot store ‒ TK Maxx and HomeSense ‒ at his site in Carlow Retail Park would ultimately “cost the town a lot of money”.
“My reaction is I’m going to give up on Carlow … it’s been 23 years of struggling to get something on that site and now I’m just going to let it go grow weeds,” he stated.
“People don’t want anything outside of Tullow Street, so that ends that; the contract with TK Maxx is finished, it’s gone now,” Mr Thomas lamented.
“National policy is to protect town centres and I’m all for that, but no modern bricks and mortar major retailer can operate at up to 2,000 sq feet and that’s all that’s available in town centres,” he added.
- Decision due on application to demolish sheds for the construction of four houses https://www.carlowlive.ie/news/home/540678/decision-due-on-application-to-demolish-sheds-for-the-construction-of-four-houses.html
- Kildare Nationalist — €80m housing plan for Clane put on hold as judge seeks European Courts of Justice ruling | Kildare Nationalist https://kildare-nationalist.ie/2020/05/07/e80m-housing-plan-for-clane-put-on-hold-as-judge-seeks-european-courts-of-justice-ruling/#.XrPXCyUo-Ec
- Lidl seek permission to knock down Charleville store and replace it with a new, larger outlet
PROPTECH, MMC & CONSTRUCTION INNOVATION
- Proptech Ireland is updating the database of 2020 Irish technology providers for the built environment – 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 & Covid-19: Is Technology Driving Real Estate Online
‘Earlier this week, Proptech Ireland founder, Carol Tallon, delivered a global webinar for PropIT (Dubai).
This presentation was due to be delivered in person, however, due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the live event (and global proptech pitch competition) was cancelled and a number of the planned keynote talks have now been delivered online and are available to watch back…’
- Can Nest Wifi help solve your patchy, unreliable broadband? Probably https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/can-nest-wifi-help-solve-your-patchy-unreliable-broadband-probably-1.4244559?mode=amp
- Adjusting to a changed industry: Property firms such as QRE are dealing with the coronavirus lockdown by trying to maintain some normality in their day-to-day business, by Conor Whelan in the Business Post
- PropTech platform accelerated to market for use during virus crisis
- PropTech Market (impact of COVID-19) Share opportunities Trends, and Forecasts to 2020-2026 – https://latestherald.com/2020/05/03/proptech-market-impact-of-covid-19-share-opportunities-trends-and-forecasts-to-2020-2026/
- PlaceTech | PropTech Lab launches Relevation to combat Covid funding woes https://placetech.net/news/proptech-lab-launches-relevation-to-combat-covid-funding-woes/
- PropTech Today: 75% of agency branches will close within five years https://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2020/5/proptech-today-75-of-estate-agency-branch-offices-will-close-within-five-years
- How proptech can help the aged https://www.propertyweek.com/insight/how-proptech-can-help-the-aged/5107676.article
- Proptech – the key to unlocking sustainable living | Property Reporter https://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/property/proptech-the-key-to-unlocking-sustainable-living.html
- AR is the answer to plummeting retail sales during lockdown – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/06/ar-is-the-answer-to-plummeting-retail-sales-during-lockdown/
- Deal-Making Continues As Landlords And Lenders Go Digital https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/commercial-real-estate/dealmaking-continues-as-landlords-and-lenders-go-digital-104289
- Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs shuts down Toronto smart city project https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/7/21250594/alphabet-sidewalk-labs-toronto-quayside-shutting-down
OTHER PROPERTY NEWS
- What will happen to house prices after lockdown?
In the first week of March there were 730 properties Sale Agreed on MyHome – a fairly typical figure. In the last week of April that number had fallen to 228.
- Virus and Brexit blamed as national property sales slump by 4.6pc: The biggest drop in sales was seen in Wexford, where they slumped by 17.8pc, followed by Kildare at 16pc, Kilkenny at 15.2pc, and Louth at 12.3pc. In Dublin, sales for the first quarter of the year decreased by 7.2pc compared to the same period last year, according to a study by MyHome
- Residential property sales could fall 25% this year https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/new-to-market/residential-property-sales-could-fall-25-this-year-1.4245574?mode=amp
- Covid-19 crisis set to hit mortgage market activity https://www.rte.ie/amp/1136719/
- Mortgage approvals fall almost 10% in March https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/mortgage-approvals-fall-almost-10-in-march-1.4245709?mode=amp
- Mortgage rates fall in March but remain more than twice the euro average https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/business/mortgage-rates-fall-in-march-but-remain-more-than-twice-the-euro-average-998481.html
- In The Sunday Times today: What’s next for the property market in Ireland after lockdown is lifted?
Four weeks from now, on June 8, the shutters will go up on estate agents’ offices across the country, as the property market tries to return to some normality. But will the sector have a shuddering start? And will it be a different beast from its pre-Covid days? Many in the industry believe so.
Marian Finnegan, managing director of agent Sherry FitzGerald, says the year started strongly. “We saw a more confident consumer in the opening months of the year and we could see prices stabilise in the first quarter. We had the problem of not having enough houses to sell. Everything looked solid — and then this happened.”
- In the Business Post today: State wants to treble number of apartment dwellers: Apartments fit official policy of having “compact” growth of towns and cities and produce less emissions
- House sales clocking up at latest Cork development https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/property/house-sales-clocking-up-at-latest-cork-development-997729.html
- Bank official stalling on mortgage application citing Covid https://www.irishtimes.com/business/personal-finance/bank-official-stalling-on-mortgage-application-citing-covid-1.4243023?mode=amp
- No certainty on rent collection in coming months – Ires Reit https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/no-certainty-on-rent-collection-in-coming-months-ires-reit-1.4246228?mode=amp
- Ruling halts Limerick pensioners’ rent increase https://www.limerickleader.ie/news/home/540420/ruling-halts-limerick-pensioners-rent-increase.html
- How OMCs can be pennywise as recession looms | Business Post
Owners’ management companies should take action now to future-proof their revenues after the Covid-19 crisis has passed
- Airbnb hosts will need planning permission to advertise properties: New plan would replace current system, which relies on council inspectors taking court action against individuals
- ‘Landlords need to take some pain’ – Reaction as dispute unfolds between Bewley’s and Ronan Group
The source said Bewley’s asked for a six-month rent holiday at the end of March and RGRE was not in a position to grant this as the company has an obligation to its own stakeholders.
“Every business is dealing with its own issues… the crisis threatens landlords and tenants and both sides have obligations.
“Landlords, like their tenants, come in all shapes and sizes as do their financial structures and balance sheets,” the source added.
- There is plenty of public reaction to this: Bewley’s Café and Johnny Ronan https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/bewley-s-caf%C3%A9-and-johnny-ronan-1.4247783?mode=amp
- ‘I’ve apologised, but we had no idea what was coming’ – Johnny Ronan on Bewleys, coronavirus and that viral video https://amp-independent-ie.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.independent.ie/irish-news/news/ive-apologised-but-we-had-no-idea-what-was-coming-johnny-ronan-on-bewleys-coronavirus-and-that-viral-video-39194102.html
- Microsoft closes in on deal for new Dublin docklands offices https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/microsoft-closes-in-on-deal-for-new-dublin-docklands-offices-1.4245429?mode=amp
- French investor acquires Sandyford office block for €18m https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/french-investor-acquires-sandyford-office-block-for-18m-1.4245688?mode=amp
- Dublin 15 warehouse and office sells for over €1.95m https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/dublin-15-warehouse-and-office-sells-for-over-1-95m-1.4245437?mode=amp
- Landlords need to be pragmatic on rent for when normality returns – Independent.ie https://amp-independent-ie.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.independent.ie/business/commercial-property/landlords-need-to-be-pragmatic-on-rent-for-when-normality-returns-39186518.html
- Bewley’s café on Grafton Street set to close with loss of over 100 jobs https://www.thejournal.ie/bewleys-cafe-to-close-5093038-May2020/
- Hammerson’s €460m deal to sell retail parks to Orion is scrapped: Dundrum, Swords Pavillion and Ilac centre owner Hammerson’s £400m (€459.5m) deal to sell seven UK retail parks to private equity firm Orion has been scrapped.
The announcement from Hammerson sent its share price down more than 10pc yesterday afternoon.
- What will our offices look like in a post-Covid world? Six-foot offices, exchanging keys for mobile access, and an end to open-plan are just some of the ways in which offices could be transformed when the coronavirus crisis finally ends
- The struggle for buy-in: retail developments may need a re-think as Covid-19 shoppers move online: Thousands of square metres of developments big and small – in planning stages and in progress – are being reassessed in a suddenly radically different marketplace
- Canadian investor Timbercreek continues to reduce its stake in Ires Reit – Timbercreek Asset Management sold more than €5.5 million worth of shares last week
INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY NEWS
- Is This What The Housing Market Will Look Like In Three Weeks? https://www.forbes.com/sites/garybarker/2020/05/07/is-this-what-the-housing-market-will-look-like-in-three-weeks/
- New contract awards leap 50% during lockdown: The value of new construction contracts signed in the UK during lockdown appears to be booming.
- London in lockdown: the ‘city that bounces back first’ faces its toughest test yet https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/buildings/london-in-lockdown-the-city-that-bounces-back-first-faces-its-toughest-test-yet-06-05-2020/
- Scottish think tank proposes plan for building rental homes https://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/scottish-think-tank-proposes-plan-for-unlimited-building-of-rental-homes
- Citing revenue declines, Airbnb cuts 1,900 jobs, or around 25% of its global workforce – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/05/citing-revenue-declines-airbnb-cuts-1900-jobs-or-around-25-of-its-global-workforce/
- Property firm launches legal action against Cerberus-linked vulture fund: Fortberry, where retired taxing master James Flynn is a director, has instigated High Court proceedings against Promontoria