Date for your diary: Bloom, in the Phoenix Park runs from Thursday June 1st to Monday June 5th.
The Sunday Business Post
The property section leads with an extensive – and colourful – feature on this year’s Chelsea Flower Show by Ros Drinkwater. This gardening theme is continued through to page 6, where Roisin Lafferty talks about exterior ‘zoning’ and lighting as ways to turn your back garden into additional useable and liveable space.
Hook & MacDonald showcase strong sales of new homes, with the Hanover Lofts in the South Docklands and Hawthorn in Clonskeagh now sold out. They are currently registering interested parties for their upcoming Blackrock development by Belgrove Homes, Knocksinna Wood.
REA O’Connor Murphy in Limerick are seeking buyers for 9.35 acres of development land in Mungret and for 30 apartments at Thomond Student Village.
The SBP recently teamed up with CIS (Construction Information Service – page 10) to provide a genuinely useful snapshot of development nationwide. Noteworthy titbits today include:
• Another 232 student beds planned for Dublin 8 at Carman’s Hall
• PMC to build 60 units at the Lyre, Enniscorthy in County Wexford
• Planning permission has been granted for a €8.8 million mixed-use development on Chatham Street, Dublin 2
• Gannon Homes have secured PP for a €28 million, seven-storey, 209 bedroom hotel at Clongriffin, Dublin 13
Donal Kellegher, Director at Cushman & Wakefield, writes that the value of development land transactions is down by 40%. This is based on Q1 figures showing 65 development land sales across Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick in the first three months of 2017, totalling €120m, a drop of 41% on the same period in 2016. This is partly attributable to the limited availability of prime residential land.
Elsewhere in the paper
• Iveagh Trust, with Gannon Homes, Park Developments and Cairn Homes, is due to launch their €10m Dublin social housing scheme at Annamore Court in Ballyfermot. It will be the single largest social housing development in Dublin this year, providing 70 homes.
• In the Money Plus section, Roisin Burke features Canadian finance house, Timbercreek, about their decision to invest €200m in the Irish property market. They will provide lending of €1m-€20m (max. €50.) LTV 75% with interest rates of 6.5-8.5% (significantly below other alternative sources of development funding) for projects in Dublin and regional urban areas. Interviewed: Paul Roddy & David Mossington.
• Hibernia Reit chief, Kevin Nowlan repeated his calls for an elected Dublin mayor who can deal with persistent housing and infrastructure issues in the capital.
• Kirby Engineering & Construction have opened applications for their graduate engineering development programme for recent and pending graduates.
The front page of the property supplement this week is taken over by The Old Rectory in Coolbanagher, Emo, in County Laois. This seven-bed home was built in 1790 and apparently Queen Victoria intended to purchase it for her son. Designed by the same architect who designed our iconic Four Courts and Custom House in Dublin, this is a lot of property for €1.25m with 45 acres and a host of stables and sheds – not forgetting the walled garden. Lovely opportunity for the right buyer. Enquiries to Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes.
The gardening theme of the week continues into this newspaper also with a two-page spread on top 10 gardening trends – apologies, I am just not into it so, if gardening is your thing, then pick up any of the Sunday papers today and if you are drawn to transforming an unruly outdoor space then feel free to visit my home at any stage!
Ronan Lyon’s column calls for policymakers to ‘go back to basics’. He explains that housing cannot be viewed as a standalone area of policymaking; it must be looked at in the wider context. He makes a great point about mortgage providers capping first-time buyers at a certain limit, knowing – yet not taking into consideration – the additional commuting costs. Also, he calls for greater cohesion in planning to avoid the scenario (now experienced) where we have office space planned for 60,000 new workers in Dublin and planning for fewer than 1,000 homes in the same area.
Ronald Quinlan features No. 33 Fitzwilliam Place (together with mews to the rear, 33 Leeson Close), a collective 7,000 sq.ft of space in Dublin’s Georgian core asking €2.65 million.
Analysis of the student housing market continues with GSA and BAM partnering to build Uninest Mill II (two). This additional residence (expected date of completion September 2018) will add a further 296 beds to the existing 101 already provided at Uninest. A further 891 are expected to open this September. It’s all good news for fellow parents whose darlings are preparing to sit their leaving cert exams in 10 days time.
Elsewhere in the paper
Samantha McCaughren introduces the latest players into the increasingly-crowded student accommodation market – Shukri Shammas and Tareq Naqib of Summix – as they roll out plans for 1,000 student rooms across markets in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
Page 34 of the Sunday Independent carries a fitting tribute to recently-deceased estate agent, Felicity Fox. Buyers and sellers in Dublin will be well familiar with the business she built and the brand she created, which is synonymous with integrity and professional expertise in the property market. Our deepest and most genuine respect and sympathies go to her family, friends and colleagues in appreciation for all that she achieved and made possible for others.
The Sunday Times
House-hunters who missed out on the uniquely-styled Willow Brook, on Saval Park Road in Dalkey will welcome it’s return to the market through Finnegan Estate agents, asking €2.5 million. This mock-Tudor, six-bed home offers great space at 425sqm close to Killiney Hill.
The Four to View this week includes Coole Cottage in Craughwell and an Edwardian redbrick in Ringsend for €380,000. This open-plan, two-bed is available through Owen Reilly and is sure to appeal to home buyers and investors alike.
Page 11 looks at the issue of professional house-hunting in Ireland. Obviously I have a vested interest in this, having co-founded the first nationwide service in Ireland back in 2005/2006 – Buyers Broker International – and I continue to have an interest in this as I write the Irish Property Buyers Handbook annuals. The benefits are obvious; non-sales expertise that saves time, money and helps the buyer avoid costly mistakes – but there is a financial cost. The writer cites well-known UK duo Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer, however, we have several great housing-hunting firms right across Ireland. I have always felt strongly in exclusive representation, this means that agents who work with buyers, arguably, should not work with sellers. And I think experience in the Irish and UK market holds this to be true; even when big estate agencies employ a buyers’ agent or broker, they tend not to be the first choice for house-hunters. This explains the increase in the number of house-hunting firms (who are not sales estate agents) in Ireland at the moment. It is a good thing for buyers and we welcome many more into the Irish marketplace.
Frustrated house-hunter Eithne Shortall tackles the emotive issue of renting with children and the need for greater security in the rental sector. Which is tough for house-hunters with children as they greatly reduce your capacity to borrow… It’s a bit of a chick and egg situation for families right now. Of course, It occurs to me that this particular house-hunter could do with a bit of professional help , as above!
Elsewhere in the paper
• Linda Daly writes of the seven deadly sins for young mortgage applicants, which include: living abroad (a challenge but not fatal), not having a permanent job (again, not fatal), failing to manage finance (sounds obvious, right?), opening an online gambling account, buying land without planning permission, inability to cope with interest rate hikes and failing to shop around.
• Shane Ryan (son of Tony Ryan) has pulled back on the proposed sale of his 1,000 acre stud farm in Kentucky to the local council.
• DCC is selling 30 Merlyn Road in Ballsbridge after seizing the long derelict building in what the paper describes as a landmark ‘use it or lose it’ action against the owners of vacant sites. This is an issue that we will be hearing lots more about in the run up to the vacant site levy and initiatives in 2019.