Here’s a quick round-up of the industry news you might have missed this week:
The front page carries the headline ‘Varadkar proposes high-rise at Poolbeg to solve housing crisis’ as opposed to urban sprawl, which is exactly what private planners and developers have been calling for. The Taoiseach has also spoken in favour of an extension of Dublin Metro to run from St. Stephen’s Green to Dublin Airport and onwards to Swords. These points are part of a 13-point plan/manifesto(?) contained in an article where he outlines his vision for Ireland into the next decade. “We want vibrant new neighbourhoods all across the country, such as in Waterford’s north quays, Galway’s inner harbour and Dublin’s Poolbeg… Good design is key.”
Mr Varadkar goes on to talk about how he encourage balanced regional development to ensure that regional cities can grow by 40% to 50%, thereby benefiting rural Ireland.
Other industry news
- Danu sells its Mercantile pub group stake for over €10 million. The group is valued at €50 million and looks set to benefit from a €28 million upgrade and makeover within the next year.
- The Sunday Property section runs with a front page feature on renting out your spare room to make up to €14,000 per year tax-free. It declares that “student digs are back in fashion” – I would suggest that this is more from necessity than want (on both sides!).
- The featured property is a stunning, re-vamped period house, 37 Mount Merrion, Blackrock (through Hunters, asking €1.65m), set back off this busy route behind its original railings and immaculate front garden. At 247 sq.m, this four-bed home is not likely to remain on the market.
- Ronan Lyons writes ‘What hope for students amid our housing crisis?’ With rents in Dublin now up 70% since 2010 (outside Dublin, rents are up 45%), the rent pressure zones do not appear to be working. Ronan points out that rising prices are merely the symptom, the real problem is still supply. He describes “healthy” housing markets as comprising key ingredients, including sensible mortgage rules and a responsive social housing sector – which he maintains Ireland had until the 1980s.
- Commercial Property Editor, Ronald Quinlan, writes that ‘Cairn Homes dominate development market’. They are responsible for over a quarter of the latest sector activity with just one purchase – the €107.5m Montrose site.
- Finnegan Menton are guiding €7.7m for 25 apartments in Rockfield and Riverside, Dundrum.
- Knight Frank are guiding €2.5m for a residential redevelopment site(0.47 acres) on South Dock Street, Dublin 4.
Sunday Business Post
On the front page today of the PostPlus section, editor Ian Kehoe has a feature on developer Gerry Barrett: ‘The milliner’s playground, the former maths teacher and the €700 debt pile – The inside story of a developer, a vulture fund and a five-star hotel sited in a retail park’. This is a good read for anyone interested in the human story behind the crisis headlines. Ian starts by describing the G Hotel as “the perfect metaphor for Ireland’s cultural and economic passage. A monument to the blind, unfettered ambition of the boom, it emerged as a grandiose statement of wealth and nouveau-riche sensibilities.” Ian reports that Deutsche Bank struck a deal with Nama to buy €785 million of Gerry Barrett’s debts for €97m and is now ready to collect. This is probably the Sunday afternoon coffee read (for anyone not interested in former Minister Alan Shatter’s diary extract on page 9).
Other industry news
- Michael Brennan writes about “soaring” landlord-tenant disputes in the midst of our current rental crisis. At this point in the year, the number of disputes reported to the RTB have already exceeded the total number for 2016 (4,837).
- Nama and Oxley (with Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore) prepare sale of €150m Dublin Landings project – this refers to the sale of the first portion of this landmark site in Dublin’s Docklands.
- Nam’s previous head of loan and sales portfolio Niall White has founded a new finance house in Dublin called CapStack.
- Well known developer, David Daly, has spoken out against the plan to turn Nama into a state-owned housing developer, declaring it to be a “recipe for disaster”.
- The landmark Elysian building is Cork is being brought to market by Blackstone as part of a €100m portfolio sale.
- Nama has reportedly begun legal action against Sean Dunne in the US in an effort to enforce security it holds over Dublin property valued at €17m.
- The Property Plus supplement this week has the usual array of new developments advertised with a solid focus on Cork, including a look at the upcoming I AM Sold‘s property auctions.
- Craig Wright makes the case of investing in Global and Irish real estate on page 15, stating “Global real estate can be expected to return roughly 5% pa over the next three years, with Ireland roughly in line”.
On page 13, Matt Cooper writes on housing with the cynical summation “There’s great money to be made in promising to build homes for people these days, even if you’re actually constructing very few of those houses or apartments as yet”. The thinly veiled dig is at Cairn Homes – incidentally, one of the main advertisers in the property supplement this week – but one could argue that it is misdirected and perhaps the state is benefiting (via PR rather than money) for ongoing, unfulfilled promises to supply housing.
30 under 30
The Sunday Independent has a ’30 Under 30′ feature in the Business section this week with some great entrepreneurs and some truly innovative new ventures. Unfortunately there are no proptech start-ups on this list – despite some heavy innovation happening here in Ireland as the next generation seek to digitise the planning, construction and property industries – so let’s get talking about this emerging sector and sharing our case studies and funding success stories. Head over to http://www.prop-tech.ie, the national resource website for industry innovators, investors and mentors.
Finally, just a quick reminder that the Irish Property Buyers’ Handbook is being updated for 2018 and I would love to hear about any experiences in the market or new services, technology and trends for buyers. As always, you are welcome to email me with any industry news and updates at Carol@CarolTallon.com.