It has been a quieter than usual week on the property front; below are the main stories over the last seven days. As always, please do let me know if I have missed out on any interesting property news by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As regular readers will know, I try to keep this weekly round-up about property-related stories only, however, the Brexit deal done this week is dominating all of the Sunday papers, naturally, and the most in-depth coverage can be found in The Sunday Business Post today with the Sunday Independent offering some interesting columns and analysis too.
And simply because we are missing Simon Coveney as Housing Minister, I think it’s worth sharing this link to his Sky News interview, for which he has been highly praised on both sides of the water:
Now, back to property: For me, one of the most important stories this week relates to just one residential sale; that is the record-breaking price of €6.5m achieved for a Ballsbridge penthouse, which is still a year off completion. This is important as it breaks down every preconceived notion we have about contemporary buyers, their budgets, their expectations and their attitude to apartment living. Of course, I appreciate that this is the exception rather than the rule, however, we are seeing more and more exceptions over the past few years so our planning must evolve alongside (or preferably ahead of ) buyer trends.
On second thoughts, perhaps property story of the week should actually go to the launch of the cross-city Luas this week as every article I have read about it since is talking about how this will bridge the north and south-side divide in terms of property prices. I do not believe this is even remotely likely but I’m willing to be wrong, in fact, for the sake of every frustrated house-hunter out there at the moment, I hope I am wrong. In any event, it will be good for the city and it’s positive to see a infrastructure project delivered within budget and schedule so well done to all involved.
For your Sunday read today, it’s a toss-up between Colette Sexton writing about ‘The fall of the house of Crosby‘ or Tom Lyons (as they are both in The Sunday Business Post, I recommend that you top up your coffee, sit back and read both!). Tom Lyons has the full story of Brendan Investments, the investment scheme associated with Eddie Hobbs. The headline is stark, ‘Eleven years, €11 million and 800 investors later, this house is all that is left of fund linked to Eddie Hobbs’. The piece is accompanied by a photograph of a rundown house in Detroit, apparently worth €7,000. If you have interest or have been following the story, this feature is definitely worth a read. I should point out that Colin Coyle also has an article on this fund starting on the front page of The Sunday Times today.
Also, a few weeks ago I mentioned the planned retirement village on the grounds of the Lyrath Hotel just outside Kilkenny; Fearghal O’Connor has an interview with Xavier McAuliffe about his plans in the Sunday Business section today. This is a development I am quite excited about, having previously looked at similar models outside of Ireland and outside of Europe, which have proven to be profitable and socially-aware. It would be great to see such a model made workable for the Irish market, and then perhaps scaled around the country.
Other property news
- Ronald Quinlan, commercial property editor with The Sunday Independent has an interview with developer Michael O’Flynn, wherein this prolific builder blames the high price of land in Ireland for fuelling the housing crisis. There is an in-depth interview on page 5 of the business section that is certainly worth a read.
- The Thornhill estate saga continues with David Doyle apparently appealing to An Bord Pleanála against the rejection of his plan to build 47 homes on the land around his family home in Mount Merrion.
- Bord na Mona will go ahead with their contentious plan to develop a hazardous waste dump in Drehid, North Kildare despite local objections and “reservations“ held by Kildare County Council.
- Francesca Comyn reports ‘Pressure on Barrett over transactions as he seeks to halt buyout of his hotel empire’.
- The featured, front-page property in Move, the property section of The Sunday Times rarely disappoints and today is no exception. Editor Linda Daly walks us through No. 2 Bayswater Terrace in Sandycove in South Dublin. This stunning, three-storey-over-basement, Victorian home has direct access to the sea and is available for €3.5 million through Sherry FitzGerald.
- The sale of the PTSB building at 4 Upper Baggot Street has now completed for €1.5 million.
- Karl Deeter raises an interesting point about how renting might actually be considered reckless in the context of overspending on a monthly basis. This is a case of heaping misery onto misery for aspiring homeowners who are currently stuck in rental accommodation in the capital. And, of course, Karl is absolutely correct; overspending on rent is undoubtedly a challenge and a hurdle for people who are saving towards the deposit for a home of their own, but is there a line in the sand that separates what is necessary and what is reckless? I am not aware of rent classified as ‘reckless’ in any mortgage application to date, however, it is entirely conceivable that this could happen in the near future. Perhaps now is the time for lenders to specify what percentage of income they believe ought to be spent on rent while preparing for mortgage application…
- This theme is continued in the Sunday Independent today in an article by Mark O’Regan ‘Forever renters in 40s and 50s risk penury in retirement’.
- Well done to the team at Cluid Housing, one of Ireland’s most respected Approved Housing Body, on their recent award win. They came out on top for the Published Accounts Award in the large, not-for-profit category. This is not only a great win for the organisation, it also serves as an important model for how housing can be delivered in an efficient and transparent way.
- Over the last few weeks I have mentioned some home builders rebranding and some great estate agency advertising, however, a Wicklow-based agency has topped them all with a new Game of Thrones themed billboard campaign for the season! Take a bow Eugene Dooley, of Dooley Poynton for this:
- For construction news, the CIF magazine this month leads with an article ‘Realising the Construction Industry’s Potential to Build Ireland’s Future’, written by yours truly (that’s my declaration of bias!), however, the entire issue is packed with insights from Irish and international speakers who addressed industry members at the CIF annual conference in October: Click here for magazine access
- Speaking of construction, The Independent today has a profile on ‘Who’s Building Ireland? The new kids on the block’. This list leaves out a few of the country’s busiest homes builders, but we might draw up a comprehensive list of who is building what/where in the early New Year.
As mentioned last week, the Simon Community, Focus Ireland and Peter McVerry Trust have joined forces to set up the Refund Project. This is an excellent initiative appealing to people who are in a position to donate their Irish Water refund. The refunds are estimated to amount to €173 million. While many families will need this refund, for others, the money spent will already have been written off and this might be a way to help with our homelessness crisis in time for the Christmas period. If you can support this critical work, through these credible organisations, you can donate at refundproject.ie from December 4th.
We have no more free mentoring sessions for #proptech start-ups available in 2017, however, we are now taking appointments for dates in January, February and March before this CSR initiative ends, email email@example.com for details.
Enterprise Ireland are now advertising their new Agile Innovation Fund as “Responding to the threats and opportunities posed by Brexit demands innovation“. There is up to 50% of funding available for R&D projects up to €300,000. Check out their website on www.ambition.enterprise-ireland.com
To keep up-to-date on all things tech and innovation for the planning, construction and property industries, head over to http://www.prop-tech.ie, the national resource website for innovators, investors and mentors.
Also, UK-based James Dearsley provides the most comprehensive Proptech review so if you are in the mood to be inspired by emerging technologies and innovation for the industry, check out: www.JamesDearsley.co.uk
Property Insiders Guide
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.
As a seasonal gift, together with the publishers, I am giving away the first ebook of the series for the next few days (valid until December 15th only). Click here for your free copy of The Property Insiders Guide to a Home of Your Own (Carol Tallon, Oak Tree Press RRP €12.30)
On a personal note, thank you all for your continued support. I genuinely appreciate it.
(Finally, as always, apologies for any typos, it’s difficult to get good help on a Sunday!)