Sunday Property Round-Up, September 9th 2018 


This has been the busiest week for industry news and commentary since the summer lull. 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!)



Sunday Read







Airbnb under fire


  • The lead story in The Sunday Times today by Stephen O’Brien reports that landlords in Dublin face a ban on Airbnb lets.  Apparently our housing minister is planning to stop landlords and pattern rental properties on Airbnb by restricting home sharing in the capital to the principal private residence. A crackdown of sorts has been expected  given that there are more than 3000 homes available on Airbnb while less than half this amount is available for long-term rents on property portals.


  • Like The Sunday Times, the SBP  has an article on Airbnb being blamed for its role in our dysfunctional housing market.




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 kicks off nationwide this month. We are only taking one estate agency from each geographical area (to avoid any competitive conflict), please contact me directly to discuss availability in your local market. For areas where we cannot offer programme participation, we will be sharing free monthly ‘Proptech Prompts’ so that agencies can start their own in-house digital transformation (sign up below).


We are hosting a proptech showcase of innovations and new technologies for participating estate agents in Citywest this October.  Email me or any of the Property District team for further details or to schedule a chat.


To get involved and for free monthly Proptech Prompts, please


Other Property News




  • Also in The Sunday Times today one of the best council-lead initiatives since the crash is highlighted. Vacant Homes Ireland, which was developed by Tom Gilligan, director of services at Mayo County Council Together with his team. To date This initiative has identified more than 2000 vacant properties across the country, of these 161 are in the process of being renovated or being brought back into use.  This is an excellent example of  how local authorities can leverage their position and resources to positively impact the housing crisis.


  • Gavin Daly  reports that Cosgrave Property Group is apparently in talks to sell a shopping centre in East London for more than €223.5 million.


  • The same journalist also writes that Carrowmore Property is to purchase three student accommodation projects from Cairn Homes for a reported €45 million.


  • In the Sunday Independent today Dan O’Brien asked the question “10 years later… What did we learn?“  This article comes on the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers bank  and the beginning of the “Great Recession“.


  • In the same newspaper Ronan Lyons  writes about “an unsustainable gap in housing stock“.  This article comes just weeks after reports and statistics showed that property prices in Dublin have dropped for the first time in more than five years.  The term “soft landing” has been bandied around.  He writes about scarcity driving prices, strong demand, yet not enough supply.  He is careful to point out that the last crash was “a classic credit-fuelled bubble and crash“ and there is no link between the S&P report issued last week (see article below for details) and the headlines from a decade ago.



  • Wayne O’Connor  reports on the Limerick landlord who is requesting that six months rent must be paid up-front.  The landlord himself claims to be set in his prices against those charged by purpose-built student accommodation in the area, which is obviously ridiculous until somebody pays it and then it becomes market standard.


  • The property supplement in the Independent today includes an advertising feature on new homes (not all new developments appears here – still check out Daft/MyHome!). It appears that clear  affordability limits are contributing to a price slowdown.   The feature quotes CSO figures of 14,446 new homes completed in 2017, with 17,500 expected to be completed by the end of 2018 (7,909 completed in the first half of the year).


  • Commercial property editor Ronald Quinlan reports that the landmark Ormond Hotel  is set to be restored to its former glory with the delivery of a new 120 bedroom hotel on the site. New owners Plato Capital expect to have construction completed in early 2020.


  • The lead story in the Sunday Business Post today  reports that “government to overhaul property tax rates to avoid steep hikes ahead of election“.  It appears that government is working hard to avoid the expected increase in property tax next year (that was due for the first time in six years).   In a blatantly populist move, it looks like changes will be made in order to ensure that homeowners will not have to pay much more than they are currently paying.




  • Hugh O’Connell and Tom Lyons report that Colony Capital is investing €2.25 billion in Ireland, backing developer Johnny Ronan.


  • The SBP also has an article quoting an American study which shows that Dublin’s housing market is “seriously unaffordable“… I feel this information could have been gleamed a little closer to home.


  • The property supplement in The Sunday Business Post today has an excellent lead interview with Àine Brazil, vice-chairperson of Thornton Tomasetti and one of the most respected women in engineering.  In the interview the Galway native talks about her 40 years working on some of the most iconic skyscrapers in New York.





  • The prefab house of the future is made from recycled, reusable, and sustainable materials













  • Busy Autumn Season for Irish Commercial Property Market



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 .



  • Bookkeeping of the Future: Moving Property and Land Titles to the Blockchain


  • Four Things To Know About Westfield’s #PropTech Spin-Off


  • Well done to Irish proptech start-up Realli (Hugo and Conor Mahony), which has secured further funding, most recently from Kevin Stanley, co-founder of Cairn Homes.


  • Best wishes to new (Hybrid?) estate agency Auctioneera, which has recently launched offering sellers a fixed fee of €995 plus  VAT.  The firm is using automated building, which is logged on their website for full transparency.



  • What Is #Proptech? And What Does It Mean For B2B and ‘The Smart Cities of Tomorrow’:


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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