NewsSunday Property Round-Up

May 7, 2017

Johnny Ronan on the need for Dublin to build upwards; why can’t we solve a problem that everyone agrees on & rats in Dublin’s emergency accommodation facilities…

Good news for property watchers with plenty of time on their hands and very patient spouses, there is a lot of property reading right across all the Sunday papers today.

The Sunday Times has the edge for comprehensive residential property market news this week and the Sunday Business Post has the inside scoop on all things commercial, but if your interest is more towards the interiors, then the Sunday Independent has a glossy interiors magazine and carries the Harvey Norman interiors publication also.  Having said that , the Sunday Business Post is the beefiest read today and they too have a 5-page interiors special.  Lots of images to aspire to this week!

In other property-related news,  Knight Frank has just been appointed by Nana to handle the sale of the controversial Apollo House as soon as the planning permission (from office block to residential complex).

She Wolves Vs. Eligible Bachelors

The Sunday Times carries their annual ‘Rich List’ (UK) so that’s always an interesting read and  – as this is a property post rather than a post on contemporary human decency – I won’t hop up on my soapbox to protest to their classification of the “growing army of female entrepreneurs” as ‘She Wolves’ – of course the men still get to carry the ‘Eligible Bachelor’ title…

The Sunday Times



Editor Linda Daly writes about what big-budget house-hunters are talking about this week, new properties to the market in much-coveted Sandycove.  The front-page featured property is no. 3 Elton Park (Asking €1.75m through Savills) and it is a pretty special home.  This red-bricked house sits on landscaped gardens to the front and rear and there is planning permission for a two-storey, three-bedroom mews house if desired.

The Four to view this week are all in South Dublin and include a one-bed apartment in Hanover Lofts at Grand Canal Dock (asking €415,000 through Hooke & McDonald) complete with parking and communal residents garden overlooking the city.

Home Front

Lorcan Sirr, in his column this week, pulls no punches as he talk about rats – yes rats (no something you usually read about in property supplements).  He was referring to a video that has now gone viral for all the wrong reasons, which showed rates in emergency accommodation in Dublin.  He goes on to talk about the increasing figures of homelessness in Dublin (current stats. 4,909 adults and 2,563 children) and the effect substandard accommodation – and even good quality hotel/B&B emergency accommodation – is having on their mental health.  It makes for difficult reading but we must all read it, and then show it to our teenagers and our colleagues and local Politian’s – let’s just keep talking about it until we are prompted into action.

Commercial Property

(Page 12 of the Business & Money Section)

Grainne Rothery writes on the future of retail as the trend in online shopping continues to grow.  This is not good news for shopping centres, and it s not just an Irish problem, with 15% of America’s shopping malls facing closure over the next decade.

Online purchases only account for 5% of retail in Ireland, which sounded low to me, but if you consider the growth in online sales from Ireland, we can only conclude that Irish consumers are shopping with online retailers outside of Ireland.

Looking ahead, online-only makes sense for start-up retailers as it means hugely reduced set-up costs, ongoing costs and risk but it’s not helpful to existing retail vacancy rates right across the country.   This feeds into the increasing success of pop-up eateries and shopping facilities as consumers demand new experiences.

There is also an article of how Dublin 8 is set to be rejuvenated by the new children’s hospital at St. James’ together with a mock-up image.

Elsewhere in the paper


Valerie Flynn writes about the plans to convert Aldborough House on Portland Row – one of the largest and most dilapidated of the Georgian mansions in the north inner city – into a modern office complex.  Described as “the last great  Georgian townhouse to be built in Dublin, and is second in size only to Leinster House”, it was built by the 2nd Earl of Aldborough in the 1790’s.

The Sunday Business Post

Property Plus


TV architect Dermot Bannon features on the front page of Property Plus this week telling Irish home-owners to ignore fad trends and to “follow the sun” when it comes to designing their homes – great advice.  Did you know that less than 8% of homes in Ireland are designed by architects?  That’s even lower than I expected and, as a (now-retired!) house-hunter for almost a decade in Ireland, I can spot the architectural influence from the moment I open a front door.  In fact, I think it is almost more important for buyers of second-hand homes to get an architect’s opinion before  upgrading/renovating their homes. And Dermot makes a great point that it’s as cheap to build a good house as it is to build a bad house, although, I would probably reverse that  – in my experience, it is as expensive to build a bad house as to build a good one!

Editor Tina-Marie O’Neill has a great feature on chic and trendy furniture for downsizers to kick off the SBP interiors special.  Lisa Collins walks us through the four steps to classical styling; Panelling (Iconic Offices do this is the most brilliantly contemporary way), symmetry, paint colour choices and on-trend cultural references.

Also, for the Dublin  and commuter market particularly, Catherine Healy brings together the best of what’s available, in Dublin and Wicklow.  ‘Foothills’ at Rocky Valley, Kilmacanogue (asking €865,000 through HJ Byrne Auctioneers) is the stand-out offering.  A four-bed bungalow with converted attic, gated entrance and mature gardens.  Family homes are difficult to come by in this area so this is well worth checking out.

Donal Buckley writes in a vein that echoes the Sunday Times piece above.  While rents are expected to grow by 4% annually, retails are discounting in order to compete with online traders.

In other commercial property news, CBRE are guiding €18.5m for the building, currently occupied by McDonald, 14-16 Mary Street, Dublin 1.

  Elsewhere in the paper


Property developer Harry Crosbie gives a telling interview with Francesca Comyn as he prepares to exit Nama over the coming weeks after “honouring his commitments”.  He is scathing about the lack of transparency surrounding the State’s debt agency and  the valuations put on his and his family’s assets that were part of a sales process through Nama.

Also, developer Johnny Ronan calls for taller buildings in the city centre in order to prevent urban sprawl.  It must be said that many planners, developers market commentators have agreed with this as a logical evolution of Dublin as a modern city.  Ronan describes low density along the best transportation hub in the country as “not only wasteful, but also stupid”.

Sunday Independent

Sunday Property


Starting on the front page and continuing on page 4, the interiors theme prevails with 10 Bathroom trends as follows:

  1. Texture and touch – how to create tactile wall treatments
  2. Green fingers – jungle wallpaper (hmmm, not sure about this one)
  3. Style it dark – get brave with darker colours but keep in tone with the rest of the property
  4. Rough with the smooth – soft architectural shapes with extra textural rugs
  5. Going global – 1970’s West Coast American feel – not a look for every home
  6. Learning curves – curved or sculpted bathtub (think Patrick Bradley’s now-iconic shipping container home Grillagh House, featuring the most beautiful tub)
  7. In the pink – nude colours, this could get old quickly methinks
  8. Think heritage – Victorian and Edwardian-era fittings
  9. Industrial ideas – bare concrete, can be stunning in larger spaces
  10. Free-standing glory – shaker-style cabinets and bathtubs to rival Waterford’s Athenaeum Hotel.

The topic for Architect’s Clinic by Diarmuid Cronin deals with one of the most common issues affecting aspiring self-builders who buy a site with planning permission, that is, you inherit the planning permission but don’t particularly like the design.  Diarmuid goes through the new design and change of planning process is an easy, step by step, way.   If this is an issue affecting you, this article worth definitely worth reading.

Ronan Lyons column tells us that there is little risk of a “big” crash but that housing is still a concern.  Once again, the argument circles back the supply issue.  Never before has there been such agreement about what the problem is, and even about likely solutions, without any significant improvement.  Unfortunately, housing is a slow market to fix, even when all the right people agree on how to fix it.

Commercial Property


Ronald Quinlan writes  about two rural AIB branches – in Thurles, County Tipperary and in Kilrush, County Clare – new to the market through Savills with passing rents of €215,000 and €77,000 respectively.



Sign Up if you would like the Sunday Property Round Up sent to you by email

Carol Tallon