Sunday Property Round-Up, September 2nd 2018 


The Sunday Independent is definitely the best newspaper for residential property coverage today; however if you are looking to gain some insights into the business workings of Dennis O’Brien then perhaps the Sunday Business Post will be your read of choice. Below is a selection of the main stories of the week together with highlights from the broadsheets today.  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 we start today, I would like to knowledge the amazing work done by the industry at this year’s Dragons at the Docks event, which raised in excess of €250,000 for homeless charities:


Property sector comes together to raise funds for the homeless



Sunday Read


Tiny prefab ‘A-frame’ home sets up in 6 hours


‘Out of touch’ Housing Minister claims he’s fixing homeless problems – despite numbers on street RISING



The Agile Agent

Getting  Ireland’s property marketplace digital by default

‘The Agile Agent’ 12-month digital transformation programme for estate agents and auctioneers across Ireland kicks off this month. This programme will be delivered by a multi-disciplinary Irish and UK team and will go beyond proptech adoption to help agents get their industry digital by default.  The ‘buddy system’ is something that we have been trialling among a few existing clients in an informal way and when it works, that is to say, when trust is formed and real sharing starts to happen, it is great for both agencies. By the way, this is something that I encourage all agents (and all businesses for that matter!) to try out, it can be a great resource, like an experienced but objective sounding board.


To get involved in the buddy system and for free monthly Proptech Prompts, please


Other Property News


  • The lead story in the Sunday Independent today is about the first property house price drops in five years.  The price drops are recorded in half of all Dublin areas in the first six months of the year.   The price drops range from 2% to just above 12%. This is wholly consistent with the trends that we have seen in recent months and with the trajectory of the London residential market over the past 18 months.   It is interesting to note that prices are still rising sharply around the commuter belt including the Kilkenny, Wexford and Offaly areas with increases as high as 18% recorded.  This coverage continues in the property supplement, within the business section, and includes a map with the breakdown for each county.


  • As part of this report, the newspaper published some key statistics on consumer attitudes towards housing. Interestingly,  only 6% of those surveyed strongly agreed that now is a good time to buy house.   One of the most worrying statistics is that among those actively saving for a mortgage right now, 54% of them believe that a collapse is imminent –  it is quite frankly remarkable that more than  half of the people who are currently saving for a mortgage with the intention of buying are doing so expecting the market to collapse…


  • Following on from the report above, Philip Ryan reports that almost 3 out of 4 would-be home buyers, currently saving for a mortgage, believe the Central Bank’s lending rules are unfair.  These rules prohibit borrowing of more than 3 1/2 times salary.


  • Looking towards the rental market, Wayne O’Connor  reports that some renters are being forced to pay more than six months rent and thousands of euros to secure a room.  This appears to be away for professionals to access student accommodation.  Anybody reading this article on page 5 of the Sunday Independent today will note  theme of unethical behaviour, racism and blatant bigotry –  Irish landlords do not come across well. This public perception of private landlords IS a problem and will become an increasingly bigger problem as the industry skews in favour of the professional or institutional landlord.


  • Another interesting article in this property special reports that the National Land Development Agency, which is due to be launched shortly, will target religious land as part of its plan to acquire  housing land by way of  compulsory purchase order.   This is very positive and has been a long time coming.





  • In the business supplement of the Independent today, Fearghal O’Connor  reports that EdgeConnex, a US data centre operator, is planning to double the size of its Lucan centre with a €30 million investment.


  • In The Sunday Times today Colin Coyle  has an article about the proposed beehive-style huts proposed by developer Harry Crosbie along the County Wexford coastline, over Kilpatrick beach.  I wrote about this project a few weeks ago.  As someone who has an interest in alternative homes and architecture, I find these far preferable to a scheme of three bed semis, or holiday homes or mobile homes in such scenic areas.   Author Sebastian Barry has come out in vocal opposition to the proposed development and he is currently trying to garner support for this opposition so it will be interesting to see how the development proceeds.


  • In the business section of the Times today, it is reported that Arthur Molloy and Michael Sherry, who are owners of the Molloy and Sherry logistics and warehousing group, are planning a €40 million office development in the north Docklands.


  • In The Sunday Business Post today Michael Brennan writes about Joe McGowan, who was once Dublin‘s largest residential developer.  The developer has said he is no longer building in Ireland “due to the lack of bank finance available and particularly the size of the development contributions required to pay for road, gas, electricity and water services“.



  • In the same newspaper,  Ian Guider reports that PTSB  is apparently in talks to sell up to 200 homes to the Housing Agency.  The bank is in the process of disposing of assets and has been criticised for offloading to so-called vulture funds in recent months.


  • Roisin Burke in the SBP  has a feature on Corkman Jon Cronin who has been living and developing  property in Boston for the past 23 years.   He was most recently involved in a large development of South Boston’s waterfront area called Seaport, worth an estimated $260 million.








Proptech and Construction Innovation



  • Will Dublin Become Europe’s Regulatory Technology Hub After Brexit?







  • 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 .


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:


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