11th April (Issue 392)

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.



Cookstown Business Centre, Dublin 24 QRE Real Estate Advisers has launched Unit B1 Cookstown Business Centre to the market. The property comes with vacant possession and was previously on the market at a guide of €3 million. However, QRE has subsequently been appointed and is guiding a sale price of €1.6 million, which reflects a near 50 per cent decrease on the previous guide price. The subject property consists of an end-of-terrace warehouse extending to about 2,355 square metres. The building comprises a concrete frame with an asbestos roof incorporating translucent panels.
There is a two-storey office located at the front of the unit which spans the full width of the building. The specification of the office component includes a reception area, a mix of open-plan and cellular office accommodation, a canteen area and WCs on both floors. The €1.6 million guide price reflects a value of €678 per square metre. Business Post, 8th April



71 South Mall, Cork A prominent hotelier, who did not wish to be identified, has purchased the former National Irish Bank building on South Mall for a sum in excess of €3m. The sale did not include a car park to the rear on Morgan Street, which is owned by VHI/Irish Life. Planning was granted to turn the former bank at No 71 South Mall into a 58-bed hotel back in September 2019 to hotelier Ray Byrne and his business partner Eoin Doyle.
The new owner is hoping to have work underway at No 71 in about four months’ time. The planning grant allows for the construction of two new storeys, set back from the street elevation over South Mall. Under the plans, the overall size of the new building will be 2,226 sqm, of which 1,142 will be additional floor area. When the new hotel is complete, it will be the third on the South Mall, where the Maldron has been operating since 2019 and where the landmark Imperial Hotel has had a presence since 1813. The Examiner, 9th April

Magheramore Beach, Co Wicklow A company associated with Oakmount has applied for planning permission to develop a boutique holiday resort and surf school on the clifftop lands at Magheramore Beach in Co Wicklow. According to the planning application notice, which was erected at the entrance to the Wicklow lands earlier this week, Creatively Pacific Ltd, is looking to build what it describes as an integrated tourism/leisure, recreational (ITLR) complex along with 48 accommodation pods and a surf school facility on a 7.329-acre portion of the 21-acre site, which the developer acquired in the summer of 2021. The proposed accommodation or “glamping” pods meanwhile would measure 226 sq. ft each. Oakmount paid €700k (guiding €210k) to secure ownership of the wider Magheramore site in an online auction presided over by agent BidX1 in June 2021. The Irish Times, 5th April

Leixlip, Co Kildare The Springfield Hotel in Leixlip, Co Kildare, has been acquired by Cliste Hospitality. The sale of the 58-bedroom property on behalf of the Hannigan family will see the hotel become a part of Cliste’s portfolio at the end of April. According to market sources, the price paid is approx. €7m (€120.7k per key). The sale of the hotel ends the near 50-year ownership of the Hannigan family. The Irish Times, 5th April

Galway City Centre O’Donnellan & Joyce have brought three separate hospitality properties to market in Galway City. Richardson’s Bar at 1 Eyre Square is expected to achieve between €2.75m and €3m. The property extends to 5,963 sq. ft with an open plan bar and off-licence on the ground floor, function room, kitchen and toilets on the 1st floor and six ensuite bedrooms with open plan living areas on two further floors.
Cooke’s restaurant and wine bar on Abbeygate Street Upper is guiding €1.2m. The 4,098 sq. ft mid terraced, four-storey property includes a ground and first floor restaurant accommodating 85 seats. The second and third floors are residential but could be reconfigured. The property also includes an external roof patio.
24 Quay Street is guiding €1.15m. The 1,722 sq. ft property had previously been occupied by Costa Coffee until Covid. The property includes a section of the historic Blake’s Castle which is a three-storey medieval tower house dating back to 1470. The Irish Independent, 6th April

O’Connell Street, Limerick City Michael McDonagh’s company Dalespell has applied for planning permission to turn part of the former Debenhams store on O’Connell Street into an aparthotel. The three-storey protected property was purchased in 2020. The notice does not specify how many rooms will be included, but is seeking to change part of the ground, first and second floors and the entire third floor into an aparthotel. The Sunday Times, 9th April



Dame Street and Parliament Street, Dublin 2 Agent BDM Property is guiding €7.5m for a mixed-use commercial and residential investment in Dublin’s south city centre. Located at the intersection of Dame Street and Parliament Street, the subject property comprises a four-storey over-basement redbrick period building of 10,182 sq. ft. The ground floor and basement level extends to 4,564 sq. ft and is occupied by a licensed premises known as The Beer Temple and The Oak. This portion of the property is let on a 20-year lease from 2022 at a rent of €220k annually. There is a break option in year 15. Overhead, there are ten fully upgraded apartments comprising six one-beds and four two-beds which are all vacant and ready for first letting. Each apartment has been upgraded to a high standard. With BDM Property projecting rental income of €300k for the upper floors, the building’s estimated total rent roll of €520k annually offers the investor a potential yield of 6.5%. The Irish Times, 5th April



Henry Street, Dublin 1 According to Savills, Dublin 1 has finally caught up with the Grafton Street area regarding the take-up of vacant shops. Grafton Street has been the main focus for new brands emerging from Covid-19 lockdowns while Henry Street has seen little activity. Two years ago, there were unprecedented numbers of vacant or available shops on prime high streets, but the recovery since then has been phenomenal. With the opening of the flagship H&M and Flannels stores at Clerys Quarter on O’Connell Street, Tessuti’s first Irish store in the Jervis Centre and Sports Direct’s arrival, which plans to transform the long-vacant ex-Debenhams flagship on Henry Street into its marquee Irish store, this has provided a catalyst for improved market confidence. The Irish Times, 5th April



Office Take Up, Q1 2023 In contrast to the doom surrounding tech companies and their surrender of office space, the tech sector accounted for as much as 56 per cent of office take-up in the first quarter of this year. That was according to agent Knight Frank, which estimated that financial services made up 22 per cent of take-up.
Agents agree that the year got off to a quiet start. About 25,900 square metres was taken in 43 deals across the Dublin office market, which is down sharply on the take-up of about 45,000 square metres for the same time last year. Paul Hipwell of Lisney attributed the slowdown to “tenant indecision . . . due to economic backdrop” and lack of clarity on a “correct approach for working practices and presenteeism.” However, a number of employers, most notably Meta, have grasped the nettle and decided to sub-let or reassign large chunks of office space known as grey space. Nevertheless, according to Lisney, vacancy levels are practically unchanged. As much as 588,000 square metres of offices are available for letting at the moment in Dublin, a vacancy rate of 13 per cent, which is down from the 13.2 per cent rate at the start of the year. The vacancy rate in the city centre, however, is up from 13 per cent to 13.4 per cent during the same period. The largest letting of the quarter was tech company DataDog’s relocation across the river from the southside 3-18 City Quay premises to One and Two Dockland Central in north docklands, where it took 4,067 square metres across two buildings. Business Post, 8th April



Killiney Hill, Co. Dublin A 1,000 square metre mansion in Killiney has come on the market through Sherry FitzGerald guiding €9.75 million. Paddock Wood is laid out over three glass-fronted levels, sits on 1.3 acres and includes an outdoor infinity pool, a golf practice area and a series of terraces spanning 185 square metres overlooking the bay.
The existing owners purchased the site and the original house that sat on it for almost €5 million in 2004. They commissioned architects Conroy Crow & Kelly to design Paddock Wood, which was completed in 2007 and was valued at almost €12 million at the time. Some years later, Paddock Wood was repossessed and put up for auction with Lisney at an advised minimum value of €2 million in 2013. Paddock Wood sold for €4 million on the day with a planning application for remedial works lodged in 2014 by the new owners. Business Post, 8th April

Leeson Street Upper, Dublin 4 Knight Frank is guiding a price of €7.15m for nos. 86 to 89 Leeson Street Upper, a terrace of four Victorian properties comprising nine rental apartments and one house in Dublin 4. The portfolio has the benefit of 31 car-parking spaces. The apartments situated in nos. 86, 87 and 88 and the house at no. 89 are fully let while 25 of the parking spaces were let on a 10-year lease from January 1st, 2022. The overall portfolio is producing a total of €345.5k in rental income annually. The Irish Times, 5th April

The Department of Housing in Ireland has failed to spend over €1bn earmarked for housing between 2020 and 2022, including just over €1bn intended for social and affordable housing. The department’s underspend in housing amounted to €92m in 2020, €441m in 2021, and €471m last year. The department cited the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on the construction sector and the “unprecedented and unexpected challenges arising from the Russian war on Ukraine” as reasons for the delays in housing delivery. The unspent capital could have delivered at least an additional 4,000 social and affordable homes. The Irish Times, 6th April

Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo 20 Apartments located at Bruach Na Habhainn, Ballyhaunis were sold at auction by Wilson Auctions for €1.22m (11.78% GIY). The apartments are fully let, generating €143,700 pa. The apartments totalled 18,478 sq. ft across five three-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and one one-bedroom unit. The sales price achieved was 305% more than the €400k reserve, which was set due to pyrite issues with the property. The Irish Independent, 6th April

Ires Reit The shares of Ires Reit, Ireland’s largest landlord, have fallen to a record low, despite high rents and strong demand for housing. The company’s shares fell to €0.93, below its 2014 IPO price of €1, as investors worry about deteriorating conditions in Ireland’s rental market. Rent caps, inflation, and higher interest rates have made the Irish market less attractive, and Ires Reit’s underlying earnings fell 2.2% in 2022, despite an increase in rental income. The company’s high levels of borrowing and leverage ratio of just over 43% also concern investors. While the company has almost full occupancy in its portfolio of nearly 4,000 apartments, analysts suggest that growth for landlords in Ireland may be stalling, prompting investors to sell their shares. The Irish Independent, 6th April

Planning Permissions Approx. 65,000 new residential units are tied up within planning appeals, judicial reviews, and SHD processes, according to new data from Construction Information Services (CIS), a service that provides information for the sector. CIS found approx. 18,000 new homes are currently subject to planning appeals to An Bord Pleanála having secured permission from local authorities. Approval of approx. 15,000 units is subject to judicial review and in the courts awaiting a decision, while 32,000 are awaiting an initial decision from An Bord Pleanala (ABP) under the SHD initiative. The numbers are based on a CIS analysis of over 700 projects on appeal as of March 2023. The Irish Independent, 5th April



CBRE Q1 2023 Report According to a report by CBRE, the global banking sector has been facing some issues that have affected investment markets in recent weeks. Tighter credit conditions and wider bid-ask spreads have made it difficult to structure certain deals in the current market environment. Despite this, the Irish market has been performing unexpectedly well, with big-ticket deals completed in Q1 across sectors, and pricing expectations moving closer together. Total investment spend in Q1 was €623m, which is only down 18% compared to Q1 2022, which is a reasonable result given the prevailing sentiment. Three transactions with an individual sale price of c. €100m or greater were completed in Q1, which is in line with the long-term quarterly average over the last ten years. Equity-driven investors have become more active in this market and have executed transactions when other parties cannot. This cohort of investors is expected to continue to be active throughout 2023. Prime yields on the core sectors of office, industrial, and retail appear to be closer to stabilisation, although pricing in all sectors remains trending ‘weaker.’ CBRE Q1 2023 Report, 6th April

550 acre farm, Co. Meath A farm hailed as a global leader in sustainable farming has been put up for sale by Devenish, the Northern Ireland animal nutrition company. The Business Post understands that the 550-acre Dowth farm has been quietly offered for sale in recent months via an off-market process, and that Devenish has valued the property in the region of €10 million to €12 million. Set within the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site in Co Meath, Dowth is one of the highest profile farms in Ireland and has attracted visitors from all over the world, including members of the British royal family.
The farm has pioneered a so-called “balance sheet” approach to carbon emissions and sequestration over the last decade, with the aim of becoming the world’s first scientifically measured carbon-neutral farm. The sale of Dowth farm comes amid a wider restructuring of Devenish, which has debts of around £40 million and has faced a number of other challenges over recent years. Business Post, 8th April


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