Sunday Property Round-Up, September 23rd 2018 


Interestingly, only The Sunday Times leads with the story and images of the ‘Take Back the City’ protests in Dublin yesterday.  This newspaper also publishes  its annual Schools Guide, which is a four-page list of the best State and fee-paying schools in the country.  This may well be of interest to homebuyers nationwide.


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!)



Before I get started today… it is important to draw your attention to an article this week that reports ‘Just 1% of construction workers are women, according to new CIF report’:


For this reason, Irish tradeswomen need your support to help 4 Irish tradeswomen travel to the Women Build Nations Conference  with the goal of increasing the number of women in trades in Ireland (increasingly important given the looming skills shortage across the industry).


Please support this fundraiser by Jen Kelly : Tradeswomen Influencing Futures:


Sunday Read (& Watch!)


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 among some serious UK and US heavy-hitters:




It is interesting to note that 6 or 7 of the top 15 UK proptech startups have designed their service to help property consumers eliminate estate/letting agents altogether  – are we nearing a tipping point for change?


Also, despite the article above, it appears that the majority of property professionals are positive about UK proptech:



Trending Story – The Development Land Agency (LDA)


Last week, the housing minister launched the €1.25bn Land Development Agency to build 150,000 homes over 20 years. All lands developed are required to have a 30% affordable (rent/mortgage no more than three times salary) and 10% social element to them.


In the broadsheets today, there is the predictable backlash to last week’s launch of the Land Development Agency, with commentators accusing the State of “bankrolling“ property developers.  On the basis that this agency is so new and so many details are yet to be disclosed, any commentary that appears in today’s broadsheets is coming from a place of agenda or bias so there is no point in me commenting on it here.


Ronan Lyons  covers this in his weekly column in the Sunday Independent today,  explaining that “By redeveloping our army barracks, industrial Estates, bus depots, ports and golf courses, Dublin and the other major cities will go some way to meeting the demand for urban living in Ireland currently and overcoming decades”.


Also, earlier in the week, Lotus Investment Group chief, Ian Lawlor, published a brief introduction or explainer document about the LDA, which might be useful to people who just want the facts:



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 this 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 this week is that we have confirmed UK proptech ‘Guru’ (our words, not his!) ANTONY SLUMBERS as 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




  • Samantha McCaughren writes the lead story in the Sunday Independent today, reporting that An Post  looks set to offer mortgages at rates well below the pillar banks. The mortgages will apparently be available to new customers and switchers. The interest rates will be at least 1% below current market rates, which amounts to substantial savings, as much as €47,000 for €250,000 mortgage over a 30 year period.


  • Also in the Independent today, Alan O’Keefe  reports that 24,448 homes have been sold in Ireland in the first six months of the year. According to a survey by MyHome,  The total value of the homes sold in the first six months of 2018 is 18% higher than in all of 2017, which is substantial.


  • There is continuing negative opinion commentary about Airbnb and the impact it is having on housing within the capital. There is nothing here that has not been reported over the past few months.


  • Commercial property editor Ronald Quinlan confirms that Hubspot is apparently close to signing a deal for new European headquarters in the south Docklands.


  • I have covered the beehive-shaped pods that developer Harry Crosbie wishes to build along the Wexford coastline several times over the past few months. The Sunday Times appears to be the main broadsheet covering this ongoing story.  Today’s news is that the planning application has been rejected by the local authority  on the basis that the scheme would be “obtrusive and visually incongruous“, according to Colin Coyle.


  • The same journalist reports that TV architect Dermot Bannon has been granted planning approval to extend his new family home in Drumcondra.


  • Also in the Times today, Gavin Daly reports that Amazon, Facebook and Google are all seeking further office space for up to 20,000 new workers in Dublin right now.


  • The lead story in The Sunday Business Post today is by Jack Horgan-Jones,  who reports that apparently the government has been warned by  members of the American Chamber of Commerce against allowing an impression to be given that “Ireland is full“.  This seems quite sensible. Also, the same article points out that housing outputs on some of the key residential sites around Ireland, is less than half that which the State  estimated back in 2014.


  • Also in the SBP today, Tom Lyons  reports on Ronan Group Real Estate‘s “€3bn Dublin play“. This report refers to a joint-venture development between Johnny Ronan and Colony Capital to develop a 4.6 acre site in the north Docklands in Dublin, close to the 3Arena.


  • Dereliction is legalised vandalism for the property-owning classes | David McWilliams











  • BALLYMORE EXCLUSIVE: Civic leaders, developers and town planners joined Lord Seb Coe at our Royal Wharf development to assess how the London 2012 Olympics became a game changer in the development of east London. Read the full story here:




  • Meet America’s First Shipping Container Apartment Building For Millennials – thanks to Cormac McKay for sharing!


  • Looking for inspiring ideas and alternative builds?  Check out “Stay Here” on Netflix!





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 .



  • Page 7 of the Business section of The Sunday Times today features BidX1 founder Stephen McCarthy.  The proptech chief  explains the success of the online auctioneer as follows: “The [property] consumer is dying for it – both commercial and residential, small and big… People want information… They don’t want people to sell them anything.  They say, give it all to me, let me look at it and then I will decide. It touches on the fact that people want open and transparent transactions. There is a cloud of secrecy in some property deals – I don’t think it is a deliberate ploy, it is just the way we do it“.  He is absolutely right and was one of the first auctioneers or estate agents in Ireland to understand the changing demands of modern property consumers, that is, people want accurate, credible, real-time information 24/7.  It is a wonderful success story for the Irish industry.



  • For #conveyancing solicitors:  #PropTech – how best to engage? Guest Writer – Beth Rudolf





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!


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