10th January (Issue 78)

Welcome to the Origin Capital Weekly Irish Property Review. This update is designed to provide you with a full recap of the latest property news from the media over the last seven days.



NAMA Loan Book: In the past week NAMA has issued a tender document seeking a panel of six loan sales advisors for its remaining loan book. According to the tender document, the estimated value of NAMA’s loans at the end of 2016 was c. €5bn, with the majority of the loans being European-based. NAMA is seeking advisors for a four year period, which suggests that NAMA will not seek to dispose of all of its remaining assets quickly. NAMA Wine Lake, 8th January

KBC Portfolio Sale: KBC Bank has sold a small portfolio of over 100 loans which consist of unsecured residual mortgage balances to credit-servicing and debt-collection firm Cabot Financial Ireland. The mortgage loans were previously secured by homes or buy-to-let properties which have now been sold. The par value of the portfolio and the purchase price paid by Cabot have not been disclosed. The Irish Independent, 10th January



Zanzibar Hotel: The Luxembourg-based aparthotel group Lockeliving.com has completed the purchase of the former Zanzibar hotel site on Dublin’s Lower Ormond Quay, having paid over €10m to acquire the site. The group plans on spending c. €45m in total developing the site into a 100-plus bedroom facility which will cater for both corporate and leisure customers. The site had planning permission for 89-bedrooms, however Eric Jafari of the SACO Property Group (who developed the Locke brand) advises that they will be seeking fresh planning consent from Dublin City Council for an increased number of rooms. The Irish Times, 9th January

Dublin Airport Hotel: A British company linked to Carlton Hotels is looking to develop a new five-storey, 100-bedroom hotel alongside the current four-star, 100-bedroom Carlton hotel near Dublin Airport. There is currently a strong pipeline of hotel beds near Dublin Airport, as CG Hotels recently received planning permission for 275 new bedrooms alongside its Radisson Blu hotel and Dalata has planning permission for a 140-bedroom extension to its Clayton Hotel. The DAA is also currently seeking a developer for a new 402-bedroom hotel which will be linked to Terminal 2 in the airport. The Irish Independent, 6th January



Walford Dublin 4: A trust connected with Dermot Desmond has acquired Walford, a mansion on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin 4, from a Cypriot company called Yesreb Holdings Ltd. The property, which was once the most expensive house in Ireland, was previously purchased for c. €58m by a trust called Matsack (whose beneficiary was Gayle Killilea-Dunne, the wife of Sean Dunne) before being acquired by Yesreb in 2013. The recent sale is likely to lead to the development of its 1.8-acre site, which is located in one of the most prestigious locations in Dublin. Sunday Business Post, 8th January

Bartra Blackrock Project: Bartra Property, the investment group founded by Richard Barrett, has paid c. €3m for Glensavage, a manor house in Blackrock, south county Dublin. The group has already sought planning permission to demolish the property and construct a new infill development, which will include five five-bedroom houses and 16 apartments in two three-storey blocks. The company recently sought planning permission to demolish Cedar Lodge on Dublin’s Merrion Road, and build 19 homes in its place. The Sunday Times, 8thJanuary

Aungier Street: The British serviced-apartment group Marlin has paid c. €2.6m to acquire three properties at 22 – 24 Aungier Street in Dublin city centre. The Sunday Times reports that Marlin will now seek to develop a restaurant and retail units on the ground floor and apartments overhead. Marlin recently began the construction of a c. €60m, 300-bedroom hotel on Bow Lane, which is directly behind the Aungier Street site. The Sunday Times, 8th January

Myhome.ie / Davy Report: A new report from property website myhome.ie and stockbroking firm Davy predicts that property prices will rise by at least 8% in 2017, with a “distinct possibility” of double digit growth. The report predicts that growth will be fuelled by the launch of the new ‘Help-to-Buy’ scheme, looser mortgage lending rules and constrained supply. The predicted increase comes on the back of CSO figures which show that property prices rose by 7.1% in the year to October. In addition, the number of properties for sale across the country has fallen to a 10-year low, with just 20,875 homes for sale on the myhome.ie website. This represents approximately 1% of Irish housing stock, whereas a normally functioning housing market would typically see turnover of around 4%. Trinity College economist Ronan Lyons has advised that almost 50,000 new properties are required each year to meet demand caused by demographic trends, housing obsolescence and migration, however only c. 14,000 were built in 2016. The Irish Times, 3rd January

Help-to-Buy (HTB) Scheme: Over 800 applications have been made for the new HTB scheme for first time buyers (FTBs) since it was launched on January 3rd 2017. So far 828 FTBs have completed the online application form for the scheme, which allows for a refund of income tax and DIRT (but not USC or PRSI) paid over the previous four years, so that it can be used towards buying a new house or apartment. The scheme allows for up to 5% of the purchase price of a new property to be claimed back, up to a maximum of €20,000. A price ceiling of €600k applies to homes purchased between July 19th and December 31st 2016, reducing to €500k for properties purchased this year. If all applicants to date were to secure the full €20,000 rebate, €16.56m in tax would be foregone. The Irish Independent, 7th January



Dublin Pub Sales: According to CBRE, 30 pubs were sold in Dublin in 2016, generating total sales proceeds of c. €43m. This figure was higher than the c. €40m recorded in 2015, even though five fewer pubs were sold. Demand for licenced premises in Dublin has risen as the economic recovery continues (for example, the total value of transactions involving pubs in 2010 was less than €5m). CBRE noted that there are now fewer distressed sales in the pub sector, with a notable increase in the number of consensual sales over the last 12 months in particular. The Irish Independent, 9th January

Amazon Data Centre: Online retailer Amazon is due to build a further multi-million Euro data centre in Tallaght in south Dublin, where it already operates four data centres. The company recently acquired an additional site in the area, which was previously used as the base of warehousing and distribution firm Barretts. Amazon has since applied for planning permission to demolish the existing buildings, with a view to constructing a new data centre. The company has several other data centres throughout Dublin, which it uses both for its own operations and to offer data hosting to other companies, with clients including Airbnb and Unilever. The Irish Independent, 7th January



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