Sunday Property Round-Up, October 7th 2018 


Good afternoon everyone, I hope you are enjoying a colourful start to October.

Before we start, I will share links for a couple of radio interviews I did this week in the run up to Budget 2019; on Thursday I joined Ciara Kelly on Newstalk and on Friday, I took part in the Friday Forum with Bryan Fox on Dublin South FM:


  • Newstalk:



If you missed last week’s Sunday Property Round-Up, which was packed with construction technology and proptech news, 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!)



Sunday Read


Could this be a UK trend that we need to watch for in Ireland? ‘Property sales to first time buyers reached a three year low in August’ – PropertyWire



Trending Story


Back in 2014, we lobbied Dublin City Council for permission to put modular buildings – like shipping containers – on top of rooftop buildings for live/work units as part of a ‘City Limits’ proposal (we were really testing the limits of the city and patience of the city officials!):


While we ran into every stumbling block imaginable at the time, it now appears that modular housing could be stacked on existing buildings:



The Agile Agent

Getting  Ireland’s property marketplace digital by default

As most of you will be aware, our ‘ Agile Agent’ 12-month digital transformation programme for estate agents and auctioneers across Ireland kicked off nationwide last  month. As we are only taking one estate agency from each geographical area (to avoid any competitive conflict), we will be sharing free monthly ‘Proptech Prompts’ for non-participating agents so that they can start their own in-house digital transformation (sign up below).


**The big news last week is that UK proptech ‘Guru’ (our words, not his!) ANTONY SLUMBERS will be our final programme trainer and we look forward to welcoming him back to Ireland.**


Calling all proptech innovators, startups and businesses: 

Most importantly, we are hosting an invite-only  proptech showcase of innovations and new technologies for participating estate agents in Citywest this October (limited access in the afternoon for non-participating agents).  Email me or any of the Property District team for further details.


To get involved and for free monthly Proptech Prompts, please


Other Property News




  • The Sunday Independent today Leeds with pre-Budget forecasts. While we have come to expect certain amount of kite flying in the week or two before B Day,  we cannot be sure how reliable this forecasts are.  One initiative of interest is that there is expected to be a mortgage interest relief boost for 400,000 mortgage holders, also, at 20% CGT break for landlords has also been mentioned.


  • On page 4 of the Sunday Independent today there is an article that highlights the need for much greater training amongst our estate and letting agents. I will not mention the firm in question (although they are quoted in the article),  however, I will point out that phoning tenants in the workplace and giving them notice to vacate mid-lease and then denying that you asked a whole string of tenants to vacate their home is damaging to the profession and the industry at large.  As mentioned on several locations here, there is a whole host of technologies that can be used by letting agents to handle the letting, management and subsequent notice periods with tenants on behalf of the landlord in a fair, transparent and compliant way.  At a time when the industry is vulnerable and looking for new ways to add value in this increasingly digital marketplace, it is crucial that estate and letting agents behave appropriately in all dealings with tenants.



  • In the business section of the Sunday Independent today, commercial property editor Ronald Quinlan reports that Johnny Ronan has issued High Court proceedings against a receiver appointed by Nama over at 29.4 acre site near Foxrock.


  • In the property supplement, Ronan Lyons  writes that “downsizing is central to our housing solution“. This is something that we’ve been talking about for the past number of years and it is something that homeowners are ready for, the difficulty is that these types of properties in the locations that they are needed are simply not being built at the moment.


  • Ronald Quinlan also has a feature on developer Sean Dunne who is facing a further 10 years of bankruptcy.  The article rightly points out that “Dunne’s time, energy and talent as a developer is lost to lengthy legal war“.  It also points out that his boom-time colleagues such as Johnny Ronan, Sean Mulryan and Michael O’Flynn are all back developing large-scale projects.  The Sunday Business Post also has a feature on this on page 3 of the main newspaper today.


  • One of the lead stories in The Sunday Times today details President Michael D Higgins’ property holdings, that is, his family home, a detached house close to NUI Galway  and a two-bed apartment in Dublin 2.  I’m not sure what the thrust of the article is other than to point out that the President has been critical of landlords in the past. It reads like a non-issue.


  • Stephen O’Brien quotes Fianna Fail  sources say that the party is “close to agreement“ with the finance minister on an affordable housing scheme with the potential to deliver up to 5,000 affordable homes over the next three years.


  • The same journalist reports that,  according to the Department of Housing,  the government could raise up to €38 million through their vacant site levy over the next two years.


  • The lead business story in the Times today is by Brian Kerry, who writes that US equity fund Loan Star is it expected to make an announcement within the next 10 days about whether it is proceeding with its €400 million flotation of DRes Properties.


  • Another international private equity investor, Carlysle Group, is reportedly entering the student accommodation sector. The fund is apparently buying a 207-bed development in the Liberties.


  • Niall Brady reports that Bank of Ireland  looks set to appoint 12 mortgage brokers as it prepares to return to the intermediary channel. According to analysts at stockbroker Davy , Bank of Ireland has 28% of the mortgage market, while AIB has 32%, as of June 2018.


  • In the property section of the Times today, property editor Linda Daly  reports that the construction industry is on track to deliver 16,000 new homes by the end of the year. This is spread across 100 new developments in Dublin and close to 40 new developments along the commuter belt.  She concludes that estate agents do not expect the rest of the year to be as busy as the start, citing Central Bank mortgage instructions for the slow down.


  • The Sunday Business Post today reports that financier Deirdre Foley will make in the region of €7 million from the sale of Clery‘s.


  • Colette Sexton  reports that an 80-year-old farmer is fighting through the High Court  to have his land in Cork removed from the vacant site register,  call on the move a “CPO through the back door“. This will be an interesting case to watch as it is likely to set a precedent.


  • While we tend to focus on residential landlords. It now appears that a company controlled by Larry Goodman and his family is actually the State’s biggest landlord, receiving in excess of  €8 million in annual rents across a range of commercial properties.


  • Michael Murray in the SBP writes that “the property market’s finances and, dare we say it, fundamentals look strong, the worry remains that we are not prepared for future downturn“.   He starts by pointing out that affordability is a key issue that investors in residential property need to be mindful of.   He describes current market conditions for development as “difficult“, as in, it is not easy to find value.  I don’t know many who would argue with that.









  • Housing Prices Are Through the Roof in These 10 Cities


  • Martin Lewis: Stop handing mortgage prisoners “life sentences”–mart/
















  • Savillls:  Portfolio of 53 houses, duplexes and apartments for sale at The Coast, Baldoyle







Proptech and Construction Innovation


  • Are you an Irish-led or Ireland-based #proptech business?  If so, please take five minutes to add or update your details to our internationally-shared listing here: SIGN UP: and to keep up-to-date on all things tech and innovation for the planning, construction and property industries, head over to, the national resource website for innovators, investors and mentors or email .


  • It is great to see David Jelly and his company com Feature  in the SBP today. This is a peer-to-peer property platform that allows investors to crowdfund home building campaigns from as little as €500.  This is something that has been working well in other countries  so it is great to see an Irish platform being established.  Head over to the website and check out current projects.






  • PropTech surges as property wilts –






  • BIM: Meeting the Digital Challenge : The CIF National Committee on BIM have developed these two initial guides to assist our members in firstly understanding the terminology associated with digital construction and secondly providing an experienced insight into how to make a commercial assessment at tender stage. The guides are brief but hit on some of the key questions a contractor must consider if they are to have an effective risk assessment prior to committing to a contract. The CIF National Committee on BIM have developed these two initial guides to assist our members in firstly understanding the terminology associated with digital construction and secondly providing an experienced insight into how to make a commercial assessment at tender stage. The guides are brief but hit on some of the key questions a contractor must consider if they are to have an effective risk assessment prior to committing to a contract:





  • How proptech innovations will make tomorrow’s cities even smarter | JLL Real Views



  • Gavin Gallagher, founder of Proptech.TV compiled a global list of the top 10 Proptech influencers to follow – I was genuinely delighted to be included amongst some serious UK and US heavy-hitters: WATCH HERE:



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) has undergone a rebrand 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:


Sign up to receive our weekly Sunday Property Round Up by email!


Sign up to receive Property District's weekly  Sunday Property Round-Up, for all the latest construction, property and proptech news straight to your inbox.