19th September (Issue 415)

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.



North Dock, Dublin Cushman & Wakefield is guiding a price of €17m (NIY 3%) for No. 1, Custom House Plaza, an office investment in the IFSC. No. 1 extends to 41,589 sq. ft and is fitted out to a high specification. Internally the ground floor comprises a reception area, three separate office suites and a self-contained retail unit, while the first to fourth floors offer a mix of cellular and open-plan office space with basement car parking for 48 cars. The block, which has multiple tenants, is 60% occupied and is generating a gross income of approx. €951k pa from three tenancies. The net operating income is approx. €558k pa. The tenant line-up includes Zellis, a leading provider of payroll and HR solutions and Kaseya, an American IT and security management multinational. There is potential for the new owners to grow their income return through the letting of the remaining vacant space, which extends to 16,580 sq. ft and includes 21 car parking spaces. Excluding car parking, the current passing office rents reflect an average rate of €34.60 per sq. ft, well below the neighbouring rental levels within the wider Custom Plaza scheme. The Irish Times, 13th September

St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 A private Irish investor has paid a figure of approx. €16m for the home of the former Hibernian United Services Club at 8 St Stephen’s Green in Dublin City Centre. The sale of the property comes just over three months after Oakmount pulled back from a deal to acquire it for approx. €17m. The price achieved represents a discount of just over 25% on the €20m Cushman & Wakefield had been guiding when it first offered the property for sale in September of last year. The building comprises a four-storey over-basement townhouse and extends to a total of 28,418 sq. ft of space comprising open-plan and private office accommodation. The Irish Times, 13th September

Herbert Street, Dublin 2 Plantation House, a single-let (WAULT 9.5 years) office property at 29 Herbert Street in Dublin City Centre is being offered to the market by Savills at a guide price of €7.6m (NIY 6.50%). No. 29 Herbert Street comprises a stand-alone office building set over four floors. The property extends to an overall net internal area of 13,435 sq. ft and has six secure on-site, surface car parking spaces. The building rests on site extending to approx. 0.26 acres and is let in its entirety to Windmill Lane Limited. The company has occupied the building since 2008 and is paying an annual rent of €546k. The Irish Times, 13th September

Office Space Audit An audit of State office space to establish if any can be converted for residential use has been sought by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien. Amid a deep crisis and mounting pressure as the political system prepares for an electoral cycle where housing will take centre stage, Mr. O’Brien is asking that the Office of Public Works (OPW) review its office stock in an effort to boost housing supply. The OPW, Mr. O’Brien wrote, owns 256 office buildings and has leases in another 285, with a total floor area of approx. 9,687,519. sq. ft. Of this, 61%, or 5,855,567 sq. ft, is owned with the balance leased. The Irish Times, 18th September



Blanchardstown and Tallaght, Dublin AIB is in the process of offloading substantial loans advanced to two of the country’s largest shopping centres. The bank’s action comes while the respective owners of the Dublin malls are trying to sell them. The loans are secured on the Blanchardstown shopping centre, which is controlled by Goldman Sachs, and the Square in Tallaght, which is owned by Oaktree Capital Management. The Blanchardstown loan has a face value of €175m and forms part of a total syndicated senior debt package of €570m. It was reported in June that Goldman Sachs was seeking a buyer for the centre, the largest in the country, with a price of €650m, €100m less than what it paid in December 2020. AIB is the main senior lender to OCM Luxembourg Square Retail, the Oaktree vehicle that owns the Tallaght centre. It owed the bank €191m at the end of 2021. According to market sources, the Square is also expected to come to the market later this year, with a sale price of approx. €170m. The Sunday Times, 17th September

Tallaght, Dublin 24 Colliers is bringing a sale and leaseback opportunity in The Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght in Dublin 24 to the market with a guide price of €1.75m (NIY 6.5%). Unit 165 comprises a predominantly open plan, fully fitted restaurant extending to 3,038 sq. ft. The property is to be sold with the benefit of Graham O’Sullivan Restaurants Limited as tenant who is committing to the property by way of a new long-term lease. The Business Post, 16th September

Drogheda Permission has been granted for a €20m retail park in Drogheda which will include a new supermarket, DIY store and garden centre and drive-through restaurant amongst its ten retails units. The plan is to be developed on lands to the rear of the existing M1 Retail Park, which currently comprises over 20 commercial units, some of which are occupied by high-profile names including Woodies, Power City, EZ Living, Toyota, Volkswagen, Skoda, Lidl and Sports Direct. A total of 311 car parking spaces area proposed to serve the development, including 23 accessible parking spaces, two click and collect spaces and 17 parent and child spaces. The Irish Independent, 19th September



Pub Investment Activity Approx. 13 pubs changed hands in the first nine months of this year worth a combined €35.5m. Of those, seven were in Dublin city and six were in the capital’s suburbs, according to the latest figures from Lisney. Another four worth a combined approx. €7.6m are close to being sold with contracts exchanged and awaiting close. A further 10 have gone sale agreed while as many as 19 others are on the market. A continuing feature of the market is the demand for pubs with alternative use potential. The Business Post, 16th September



Ballincollig, Co Cork Primary Health Properties (PHP), the London-listed primary healthcare investor, has agreed to acquire an enhanced community care facility in Ballincollig, Co Cork, from O’Flynn Construction for €29.6m in its biggest single investment to date in Ireland. The facility, the first of its kind in Ireland, is situated at a vacant office building on Old Fort Road that is being transformed into a centre to treat older patients and those with chronic illnesses. PHP said in a statement that the property is fully leased to the HSE for 25 years and benefits from five-yearly CPI rent reviews. The group said the property will be managed by its Irish property management business, Axis Technical Services. It is one of four enhanced community care facilities the HSE is planning in Cork. The Irish Times, 13th September



Park West Industrial Park, Dublin 12 Data centre design and manufacturing giant, Silent-Aire, has entered into two new long-term leases on units SB1 and SB2 at Park West Industrial Park in Dublin 12. Silent-Aire’s acquisition of its two new facilities, which extend to 40,000 sq. ft and 67,000 sq. ft respectively, will allow for further growth of the company’s existing Irish business. The Irish Times, 13th September



Finglas, Dublin 11 A development site with planning permission for a mixed-use project in the centre of Finglas village, Dublin 11, has come to the market with a guide price of more than €1.5m. The site known as the former Drake Inn public house, has recently received full planning permission for the development of 25 apartments with a ground floor retail unit and gastropub included. Cushman & Wakefield has been instructed to sell the site. The property currently comprises a two-storey building over basement which extends to approx. 19,224 sq. ft and sits on a site that extends to approx. 0.22 acres. Its planning permission includes seven one-bedroom apartments and 12 two-beds, and the scheme will extend to six-storeys over basement level. The Irish Independent, 14th September

Carrigaline, Cork After a 20 year wait, development of a key five acre site in Cork’s Carrigaline is finally to hand, for a range of mixed uses to include residential, mixed commercial/residential and leisure uses, plus a drive-through restaurant on a profile corner site at a new western relief road junction. The site is being sold by Aldi. At present the plan suggests residential on 0.70 acres, commercial and residential on 1.06 acres, leisure on 1.63 acres and a drive thru on 0.92 acre, with an operator not as yet identified. The Irish Examiner, 13th September



Foxrock, South Dublin Richmond Homes, the housebuilding arm of real estate investment firm Avestus Capital Partners, which grew out of Quinlan Private, is seeking €11.5m through Lisney Commercial Real Estate for a prime development site in the south Dublin suburb of Foxrock. Located on Brighton Road, the 3.13-acre site, which is occupied currently by a large five-bedroom detached residence known as Craughwell, comes for sale with full planning permission for the development of 57 new homes (€202k per site). The approved scheme comprises 21 three- and four-bedroom semi-detached houses along with 36 apartments consisting of a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The Irish Times, 13th September

Residential property prices decreased for a third consecutive month, bucking the national inflationary trend, according to data published by the CSO. The CSO found that while the national residential property price index (RPPI) increased by 1.5% in the 12 months to July, the RPPI for Dublin had dropped by 1.4% in the same period. The rest of Ireland by contrast had a 3.8% increase in RPPI. The number of purchases in July nationwide were down 6.1% YoY, from 4,443 in July 2022 to 4,174 in July of this year. The Business Post, 18th September

Castletroy, Co Limerick The LDA is to deliver 81 new cost-rental homes in Castletroy, Co Limerick through its Project Tosaigh programme. These comprise 45 two-bedroom and 36 one-bedroom apartments. The LDA’s Project Tosaigh initiative involves the agency stepping in to kick-start stalled or unviable housing projects. It then makes the new homes available to renters on a cost-rental basis or to purchasers at an affordable cost. In this case, all the homes involved are going to be cost rental. This is the first time the LDA has secured Project Tosaigh homes in Limerick. The 81 apartments are located at The Mills, a new development in Castletroy. The LDA’s output at The Mills is part of a total of 138 cost-rental homes with a further 57 being delivered by a separate approved housing body. The Business Post, 16th September

Glenveagh Properties, the listed housebuilder, has recorded an 89% fall in pre-tax profits for the first six months of 2023 as revenues declined by 14%. It reported pretax profits of €1.4m for the January to June period as against €13m a year earlier as revenues fell to €171.6m from €200m. The company reiterated its full-year guidance of an EPS outrun of 7.5 cents to 8 cents. It said it has been granted permissions for approx. 4,000 units so far this year, approx. 700 of which are currently in post-grant appeal periods. The Business Post, 14th September

Rathmolyon, Co Meath A property developer is looking for people who put down deposits and signed contracts on houses in Co Meath a few years ago to each pay €60k more than agreed in order to fund their completion, blaming construction costs and interest rate increases. The Ringfort development in Rathmolyon, Co Meath, consists of 16 three- and four-bedroom houses, most of which were sold three years ago, with deposits paid and contracts signed. However, the developers say that in the period since then they have seen construction costs increase by 31% and funding costs increase by more than 50%, affecting their ability to complete the development. It is understood that the €60k figure is based on an estimate of how much it would cost to complete all the houses and the site work, though houses within the development are at differing levels of completion. The Irish Times, 14th September

Vacant Land Tax Appeal Cairn Homes has lost an appeal to have its site on former RTÉ lands in Montrose excluded from the vacant land tax. The developer is planning to build approx. 700 homes and a major hotel on the site, despite strenuous local objections. An Bord Pleanála has now ruled it must pay the Residential Zoned Land Tax, despite its efforts to build on the site. Cairn submitted a new planning application last year which would have included a 192-room hotel and 688 apartments, comprising 416 build-to-rent apartments and 272 build-to-sell units. This was partially approved by An Bord Pleanála in July. However, it refused permission for the hotel and one apartment block on the site which would have included 80 residential units. Earlier this year, Dublin City Council ruled that the Residential Zoned Land Tax would apply. In a submission to An Bord Pleanála, Cairn argued that the charge should not apply to the Montrose site. One of the reasons it said the levy should not apply was because it has tried to bring the site forward for development since 2019. However, An Bord Pleanála upheld Dublin City Council’s decision. An inspector for the planning body said: “Appeals and judicial review proceedings are not included in the criteria for exclusion, therefore this ground of appeal should be dismissed. The lands are located within an established urban area with services available and no capacity or other reasons have been identified that would prevent the development of these lands in principle for residential purposes.” The Irish Independent, 19th September



BNP Paribas Real Estate Report Commercial building activity has fallen at the sharpest rate in over two years, according to new research from BNP Paribas, a “welcome development” in light of high vacancy rates in the sector. The reduction formed part of a wider contraction of the construction industry, which saw a renewed decline in August, and coincides with input price inflation hitting a four-month high. The headline BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland Construction Total Activity Index – which tracks changes in the total volume of construction activity compared with one month previously – slipped further away from the crucial 50.0 mark last month, posting 44.9, down from 45.6 in July. The drop in activity was broad-based across the commercial (41.9), housing (46.3) and civil engineering (40.8) sectors. However, the reduction in commercial activity was the sharpest in almost two-and-a-half years while housing activity also fell at a solid rate. The index also highlighted how a weakness in demand, fuelled by interest rate hikes and stubborn inflation, is strangling activity across all three segments of the sector. New orders reduced for the second straight month and to the greatest extent since December of last year. The Business Post, 18th September

Celbridge, Co Kildare The Office of Public Works (OPW) has halted a plan to construct a temporary car park on the grounds of Castletown House and Parklands in Celbridge, Co Kildare following protests led by local residents. The OPW had moved to install the car park after attempts to broker a licencing agreement with Killross Properties, the owners of a 235-acre parcel of land directly adjacent to the estate, broke down. The Irish Times, 13th September

Population Increase Blackwood in Co Kildare is now the fastest growing town in the State having almost doubled its population in the last six years. The town, also known as Coill Dubh, is located 15km north of Naas and 40km from the centre of Dublin. It increased its population by 98% in the six years between census 2016 and census 2022. In 2016 its population was 746. By April 2022 it was 1,476. The population of Dunshaughlin in Co Meath increased by 65% from 4,035 in 2016 to 6,644 in 2022; Lahinch in Co Clare rose by 60% from 638 to 1,018; and Greencastle, Co Donegal rose by 53% from 831 to 1,268. The latest census returns, analysed by location intelligence company Gamma, show strong growth in population among most towns in the State with a population of greater than 1,000 despite two years growth being lost to Covid-19. Dublin city, consisting of the four local authority areas, has the largest overall increase in population. Approx. 90,040 more people live in Dublin than in 2016 bringing the population from 1,173,179 in 2016 to 1,263,219 last year, an increase of 7.6%. This is a slightly lower increase than the State where the population increased by 8% in the census to stand at a post-independence high of 5,149,139. The Irish Times, 15th September


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