The weekend broadsheets are rightly dominated by the terror attacks across Europe and the riots in Charlottesville, our deepest sympathies go to all of the families affected.
Closer to home, most people appear to be back at work and gearing up for September after a few quiet weeks on the construction and housing front. Here’s a quick round-up on the industry news this week that you might have missed this week:
In the main paper, Philip Ryan writes ‘Sell house and avoid punitive Fair Deal costs’. This piece of course refers to the controversial new plan to encourage the elderly to sell their homes when they move into nursing homes, rather than leaving the property sit vacant or losing approximately 80%+ of the rental income, if the property is let or up to 100% in the event of a sale under the Fair Deal scheme. Minister for Older People Jim Daly is proposing a five year contribution to nursing home costs on foot of the sale of a home, after that, the balance is effectively untouchable by the State or ring-fenced for the nursing home resident. This is an attempt to lessen the punitive cost of the Fair Deal scheme currently while simultaneously freeing up much-needed family homes in the marketplace. The proposal will be considered by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe during Budget 2018 negotiations.
- CIF in legal threat to crane-dispute union: The CIF has threatened to take legal action against Unite trade union through A&L Goodbody on the basis that they believe the dispute was “unlawful” and caused many CIF members to sustain “substantial loss and damage.”
- Michael O’Flynn has been given leave by the High Court to challenge the decision of An Bord Pleanála to reject his planning in Cabinteely (part of the Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone).
- Kingspan sees record market capitalisation jump as it shrugs off Brexit: Kingspan saw a record daily jump last week of 9.9% in share price to €31.50 as first-half results rise 19% to €1.75bn.
- BOI warns rate cap on mortgages could hit profits as potential investors are told that the Central Bank or Government may intervene and set limits.
- We might be seeing a new era of warehousing as US retail giant Wall-Mart eyes new floating warehouses in its battle with online retailer Amazon!
The Sunday Times
There’s a big feature starting on page 6 and jumping to page 21 headed ‘Bus lanes to get priority with land grab plans’. The subheading reads that residents’ front gardens may be gobbled up by compulsory purchase orders as traffic chiefs look to address Dublin congestion. This is part of the National Transport Authority (NTA) €1bn plan to overhaul the Dublin bus network. Draft designs and proposed routes will be published later this year – expect some massive opposition from residents.
- Ingrid Mansfield (daughter of Jimmy Mansfield Jr.) has been refused planning to build a small replica of her father’s period house, Tassaggart House within the grounds on the basis that it would contravene existing zoning (open space) and a considerable number of trees would need to be cut down. Also, the proposed development would be ‘out of character’ with the area.
- Conor Brady writes that there is ‘No easy fix for homeless crisis – so let’s be radical. It may be time to soften some of our cherished notions about property.’ He takes the position that successive plans have failed – it’s difficult to argue with that with homeless figures increasing year on year. Unfortunately the writer doesn’t actually have any radical ideas for solving this crisis (but still criticises the “easy fixes” that have been tried and aren’t working).
- Ireland’s favourite songster, One Direction’s Niall Horan, has bought a luxury home on 10 acres in his home county of Westmeath for €485,000.
- US investment fund Colony and U+I (UK company) has acquired Carrisbrook House, currently part-occupied by the Israeli embassy in Dublin.
- ‘Investors to scale new heights with Temple Bar Inn expansion’ – planning for six-storey extension, to increase the number of hotel rooms from 101 to 190.
- US real estate trust, Starwood, has turned down the opportunity to sell its €380m Dublin office portfolio, despite a premium offer, on the basis that they are keen on the market “given the Brexit opportunity”.
- Lorcan Sirr’s column is focused on the local infrastructure housing activation fund (established in 2016, €226m allocated), the purpose of which was/is to provide infrastructure for developers to open up sites and effectively allow them to start building homes. The writer holds the position that that the funds “is just the state’s latest knee-jerk response to the crisis, and has enriched developers without delivering affordable housing”.
Sunday Business Post
The Business Insight feature this week on page 15 profiles Edward Iveagh, heir of the Guinness brewing dynasty and one of the most prolific providers of homes in Dublin city centre in the last century. The Guinness family founded Iveagh Trust more than 125 years ago to build and manage affordable housing in Dublin. The trust is currently working with development partners including Gerry Gannon’s Gannon Homes, Michael Cotter’s Park Developments and Cairn Homes. They are currently seeking strategic partners to supply heating, water, insurance and other related services. The trust’s vision is to reach 2,20 homes by 2020.
- US property giant Hines backs plans for College Green – as the new owner of the former Central Bank building on Dame St., Hines have come out in support of Dublin City Council and the controversial plans to pedestrianise College Green. They join retailer H&M in their support, however, Brown Thomas remains in opposition to the proposed plan.
- Waterford seeks €60 for ambitious plan to double the size of the city – plans include a pedestrian and cycle bridge to enhance proposed plans for the city’s North Quays.
- Hundreds of families seek rent support every week – the cost of funding rent subsistence has surged €153 over the past three years.
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.