Sunday Property Round-Up, May 10th, 2020

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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: 













  • 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”.




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: 



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 PR & marketing





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 ( 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 &


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, to discuss the realities of restarting construction after the shutdown, alternative housing options, and innovating property valuations.


Listen back here: 


Listen back to all #PropertyMatters episodes here: 


Email the Property Matters team at











  • 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. 











  • 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*









  • Planning Conference 2020



  • 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.




  • 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





  • 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.











  • 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.








Proptech & Covid-19


  • 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…’






  • PropTech Market (impact of COVID-19) Share opportunities Trends, and Forecasts to 2020-2026 –























  • 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











  • 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





















  • 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

















  • 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





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